Caffeine may promote early use of other types of substances among middle school‐aged adolescents, a recent study found. Researchers evaluated data from middle school students (6th and 7th grades; n=3,932) in 3 West Virginia counties, both at baseline and at follow‐up 12 months later. The youth self‐reported their use of caffeine from multiple sources (eg, soda, energy drinks, coffee, and tea), cigarette smoking, electronic cigarette use, alcohol use, and drunkenness. They found:
- Controlling for demographic variables and other substance use at baseline, caffeine at T1 was positively associated with T2 cigarette smoking (β = .27), e‐cigarette use (β = .21), alcohol use (β = .17), and drunkenness (β = .15).
- Conversely, non‐significant relations emerged between 3 of 4 substances at T1 and caffeine at T2.
- Positive relations were found between e‐cigarette use at T1 and caffeine use at T2 (β = .07).
- Specifically, significant relations were observed between caffeine at T1 and all substance use outcomes at T2, whereas no significant relations were observed between substance use and caffeine over time.
Krisjansson AL, Kogan SM, Mann MJ, et al. Does early exposure to caffeine promote smoking and alcohol use behavior? A prospective analysis of middle school students. [Published online ahead of print April 30, 2018]. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.14261.