case study


Creating smoke-free bars and clubs in Oklahoma through voluntary policy change.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF<span class='br'> AN OKLAHOMA BARTENDER </span>

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN OKLAHOMA BARTENDER

CELEBRATING OKLAHOMA <span class='br'>SMOKE-FREE BARS & CLUBS</span>

CELEBRATING OKLAHOMA SMOKE-FREE BARS & CLUBS

The Challenge


In Oklahoma, it is still legal to smoke in bars and clubs and there is little legislative support for change. While bars and nightclubs can choose to voluntarily be smoke-free, many owners are hesitant to ban smoking for fear of losing customers.

Behavior Change Approach

Free the Night is Rescue’s campaign to generate community support and demand for smoke-free venues to motivate local bar and club owners to voluntarily choose to ban smoking.

Implementation Strategy

  • ASSESS PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR POLICY CHANGE

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    A public opinion survey conducted by Rescue shows 80% Oklahomans are interested in smoke-free bars and clubs. Additionally, Free the Night recruits musicians and bartenders to join the campaign as advocates for a healthier, smoke-free work environment.
  • BUILD AWARENESS AND RECRUIT SUPPORTERS

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    Free the Night builds support for smoke-free bars and clubs by showcasing the health harms experienced by bartenders, and by recruiting musicians to tell their stories in the community, online, and in the media.
  • ADVOCATE FOR CHANGE

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    Campaign staff and volunteers frequent community events, music festivals, bars, and nightclubs to gather tangible support for changing policies and to promote the mobile-friendly Smoke-Free Bar Finder.
  • CELEBRATE AND RECOGNIZE VICTORIES

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    Bars and clubs that become smoke-free are immediately recognized with positive publicity, including online ads and earned media stories. Among venues that have gone smoke-free, owners report increasing business and new customers.

Results & Impact


In a state that has historically been resistant to clean indoor air laws, Rescue’s Free the Night campaign has converted over 35 bars and clubs across Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Stillwater to voluntarily go smoke-free since 2015 and the campaign continues to build demand.