Public health researchers have known that tobacco and alcohol use are strongly associated. Also, bars are key public venues where both substances are frequently used.
A recent study aimed to examine the concurrent use of cigarette and alcohol, and the association between smoking and drinking among young adults aged 18-29 attending bars.
Cross-sectional survey at bars in San Diego, CA using randomized venue-based sampling (N=512).
Researchers categorized cigarette consumption into non-smoker, light smoker, and heavy smoker; smoking status into non-smoker, occasional smoker, and regular smoker; with similar categories for drinking and binge drinking.
Researchers assessed smoking and quit effort when drinking alcohol or at bars.
Multinomial logistic regression examined the association between smoking and drinking controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education; and calculated predicted probabilities of each smoking category by drinking and binge drinking status.
Results: Respondents reported high smoking (49.1%), regular smoking (20.7%), and heavy smoking (16.2%) rates.
Of smokers, 88.9% smoked when drinking at bars; 44.0% of regular smokers and 45.3% of heavy smokers smoked all of the time when drinking at bars.
Smokers smoked more cigarettes than usual when drinking or when at bars. 80.2% and 68.5% of smokers who tried to quit in past 12 months respectively reported drinking alcohol or being in bars made it harder to quit.
Frequent drinkers and binge drinkers respectively showed greater probabilities of smoking, controlling for covariates.
Bottom line: Young adults attending bars are at high risk for smoking and concurrent use of cigarette and alcohol. Young adult smoking cessation programs should address alcohol use.