Objectives. We assessed
young adultsí exposure to the tobacco industry
marketing strategy of sponsoring social events
at bars, nightclubs, and college campuses. Methods.
We analyzed data from the 2001 Harvard College
Alcohol Study, a random sample of 10904 students
enrolled in 119 nationally representative 4-year
colleges and universities.
American Journal of Public Health
Results. During the 2000‚2001 school
year, 8.5% of respondents attended a bar, nightclub,
or campus social event where free cigarettes were
distributed. Events were reported at 118 of the
119 schools (99.2%). Attendance was associated
with a higher student smoking prevalence after
we adjusted for demographic factors, alcohol use,
and recent bar/nightclub attendance. This association
remained for students who did not smoke regularly
before 19 years of age but not for students who
smoked regularly by 19 years of age.
Conclusions. Attendance at a tobacco
industry‚sponsored event at a bar, nightclub,
or campus party was associated with a higher smoking
prevalence among college students. Promotional
events may encourage the initiation or the progression
of tobacco use among college students who are
not smoking regularly when they enter college.