American Journal of Public Health
This article describes the tobacco industry’s use of bars and nightclubs to encourage smoking among young adults.
Previously secret tobacco industry marketing documents were analyzed.
Tobacco industry bar and nightclub promotions in the 1980s and 1990s included aggressive advertising, tobacco brand–sponsored activities, and distribution of samples. Financial incentives for club owners and staff were used to encourage smoking through peer influence. Increased use of these strategies occurred concurrently with an increase in smoking among persons aged 18 through 24 years.
The tobacco industry’s bar and nightclub promotions are not yet politically controversial and are not regulated by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the industry and the states. Tobacco control advocates should include young adults in research and advocacy efforts and should design interventions to counter this industry strategy to solidify smoking patterns and recruit young adult smokers.