Introduction: Youth and young adults (YYAs) are at high risk of cigar use. This study's objective was to examine progression and sociodemographic differences in current cigar use and frequency among new cigar initiators. Aims and Methods: We conducted a two-part latent growth model among a nationally representative cohort of cigar initiators (aged 15-25) to examine 24-month trajectories of current cigar use and frequency (n = 1483). The cohort was recruited via address-based sampling with online data collection from 2014 to 2019 and surveyed approximately every 6 months. Results: The unconditional odds of current cigar use (ie, past 30-day use) within 6 months of initiation was 0.72 (95% confidence interval: 0.63, 0.82), corresponding to a probability of 42%. The odds of current use among recent cigar initiates declined 6 months after initiation and was followed by a stabilization in use over time. Among continued users, frequency (# days used in past 30 days) increased linearly over time but remained low (3.47 days/months at 24 months). Younger individuals, non-Hispanic African Americans, those with lower subjective financial status, and current users of cigarettes, other tobacco products and/or marijuana were at highest risk within 6 months of initiation. Males, younger users, and current cigarette smokers had the highest risk for cigar progression over time. Conclusions: This study is the first to examine longitudinal cigar use patterns among YYA cigar initiators. Findings emphasize the need for research across the cigar use spectrum and the importance of interventions targeted by age, stage of use, cigarette, other tobacco, and marijuana use and key sociodemographics to interrupt use pathways. Implications: This study is the first to examine progression of cigar use among YYAs who have newly initiated cigars. Results show a high probability of current cigar use within 6 months of initiation followed by a rapid decline and stabilization over time. Frequency increases among those who continue using cigars. Males, younger users, and current cigarette smokers had the highest risk for cigar progression over time. Findings emphasize the need for targeting interventions by age, stage of use, cigarette, other tobacco, and marijuana use and key sociodemographics to interrupt use pathways.
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