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Health Place. 2013 Jan;19:108-15. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Smoking spaces and practices in pubs, bars and clubs: young adults and the English smokefree legislation.

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UK Centre for Tobacco Studies, Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AG, UK.


Young adulthood is an important but overlooked period in the development of smoking behaviour. We know little about the impact of smokefree policies on this group. In a secondary analysis of longitudinal, qualitative interview data we explore smoking practices in young adulthood, the role of smoking in the spaces of the night-time economy, and the impact of smokefree legislation. Participants carefully managed their smoking in different spaces in relation to the self they wished to present. This was shaped by the transitional nature of young adulthood. Smoking played a role in constructing time-out periods from the demands of everyday life in a similar way to alcohol use. The restrictions imposed by the smokefree legislation quickly became normal for most; however, the experience of smoking was influenced by the nature and quality of smoking spaces. The re-spatialisation of smoking necessitated by the smokefree legislation may reaffirm processes of social denormalisation and stigmatisation of smoking, whilst simultaneously allowing young adult smokers to produce, in some contexts, a positive, fun, sociable smoker identity.

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