Context Little is known about tobacco promotion activities in low and middle-income countries. Information on tobacco sales, advertisement and promotion in bars, cafes and nightclubs is needed to develop interventions to reduce smoking initiation and relapse, particularly among youths and young adults.
Objective To evaluate cigarette sales and tobacco advertisement and promotion in bars, cafes and nightclubs using a volunteer survey approach in large cities throughout the world.
Methods Between 2007 and 2009, we administered an interview-based survey to 231 bar/cafe/nightclub owners/managers in 24 large cities in Africa, the Americas, Asia and eastern Europe.
Results Cigarette sales and tobacco advertisement and promotions were found in bars/cafes/nightclubs in most cities. Examples of promotions included cigarette giveaways and event sponsorship. Establishments that allowed smoking were more likely to sell cigarettes compared to smoke-free establishments (OR 8.67, 95% CI 3.25 to 23.1). Larger establishments (maximum occupancy ≥100 vs <100 customers) were more likely to have tobacco advertising (OR 4.35, 95% CI 2.04 to 9.24) and to receive promotional items from tobacco companies (OR 3.18, 95% CI 1.41 to 7.17).
Conclusions Cigarette sales and tobacco promotions were common in bars, cafes and nightclubs in the majority of cities. Socialising and hospitality venues must be covered by legislation banning tobacco sales and promotions to limit exposure among populations at high risk of tobacco initiation and relapse from quitting.
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Funding This project was supported by a Clinical Investigator Award from the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI).
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval The project was approved by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Institutional Review Board and by a local ethics committee in each participating country.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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