Background: Prior work established a measure of tobacco dependence (TD) among adults that can be used to compare TD across different tobacco products. We extend this approach to develop a common, cross-product metric for TD among youth. Methods: One thousand one hundred and forty-eight youth aged 12-17 who used a tobacco product in the past 30 days were identified from 13 651 youth respondents in Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Findings: Analyses confirmed a single primary latent construct underlying responses to TD indicators for all mutually exclusive tobacco product user groups. Differential Item Functioning analyses supported the use of 8 of 10 TD indicators for comparisons across groups. With TD levels anchored at 0.0 (standard deviation [SD] = 1.0) among cigarette only (n = 265) use group, mean TD scores were more than a full SD lower for e-cigarette only (n = 150) use group (mean = -1.09; SD = 0.64). Other single product use group (cigar, hookah, pipe, or smokeless; n = 262) on average had lower TD (mean = -0.60; SD = 0.84), and the group with the use of multiple tobacco products (n = 471) experienced similar levels of TD (mean = 0.14; SD = 0.78) as the cigarette only use group. Concurrent validity was established with product use frequency among all user groups. A subset of five TD items comprised a common metric permitting comparisons between youth and adults. Conclusion: The PATH Study Youth Wave 1 Interview provided psychometrically valid measures of TD that enable future regulatory investigations of TD across tobacco products and comparisons between youth and adult tobacco product use group. Implications: A measure of tobacco dependence (TD) has been established previously among adults to compare TD across tobacco products. This study established the validity of a similar, cross-product measure of TD among youth. Findings suggest a single latent TD construct underlying this measure, concurrent validity of the scale with product use frequency across different types of tobacco users, and a subset of common items that can be used to compare TD between youth and adults who use tobacco.
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