Objectives: This study examined changes in tobacco promotions in the alternative press in San Francisco and Philadelphia from 1994 to 1999.
Methods: A random sample of alternative newspapers was analyzed, and a content analysis was conducted.
Results: Between 1994 and 1999, numbers of tobacco advertisements increased from 8 to 337 in San Francisco and from 8 to 351 in Philadelphia. Product advertisements represented only 45% to 50% of the total; the remaining advertisements were entertainment-focused promotions, mostly bar-club and event promotions.
Conclusions: The tobacco industry has increased its use of bars and clubs as promotional venues and has used the alternative press to reach the young adults who frequent these establishments. This increased targeting of young adults may be associated with an increase in smoking among this group.