Impact of alcohol use and bar attendance on smoking and quit attempts among young adult bar patrons

Am J Public Health. 2013 May;103(5):e53-61. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301014. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Objectives: We examined cigarette smoking and quit attempts in the context of alcohol use and bar attendance among young adult bar patrons with different smoking patterns. Methods. We used randomized time location sampling to collect data among adult bar patrons aged 21 to 26 years in San Diego, California (n = 1235; response rate = 73%). We used multinomial and multivariate logistic regression models to analyze the association between smoking and quit attempts and both drinking and binge drinking among occasional, regular, very light, and heavier smokers, controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education.

Results: Young adult bar patrons reported high rates of smoking and co-use of cigarettes and alcohol. Binge drinking predicted smoking status, especially occasional and very light smoking. All types of smokers reported alcohol use, and bar attendance made it harder to quit. Alcohol use was negatively associated with quit attempts for very light smokers, but positively associated with quitting among heavier smokers.

Conclusions: Smoking and co-use of cigarettes and alcohol are common among young adult bar patrons, but there are important differences by smoking patterns. Tobacco interventions for young adults should prioritize bars and address alcohol use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Binge Drinking / epidemiology
  • California / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Social Environment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult