Using Photovoice to assess and promote environmental approaches to tobacco control in AAPI communities

Health Promot Pract. 2011 Sep;12(5):654-65. doi: 10.1177/1524839910369987.


Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities face enormous health disparities, with tobacco use contributing to high rates of cancer and heart disease. There is growing interest nationwide on the influence of environmental factors on tobacco use. AAPI communities have been found to have higher exposures to tobacco company marketing compared to the general population. The authors describe the use of Photovoice (a qualitative needs assessment technique) to empower AAPI youth to identify and understand environmental characteristics associated with tobacco use in four AAPI communities in California and Washington. Of the six major environmental themes identified from the photos, three themes were found across all four communities. Debrief sessions with youth and community leaders underscore the relevance of Photovoice for identifying community needs and motivating community organization for change. Despite some logistical challenges, Photovoice exemplifies the power and potential of this community-based methodology to capture how the environment influences youth on tobacco use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising
  • Asian Americans*
  • California
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group*
  • Photography*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Smoking / ethnology*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Videotape Recording