A qualitative exploration of youth in the "new" China: Perspectives on tobacco use from adolescents in southwest China

Janet Okamoto, Kari Lyn Sakuma, He Yan, Peiyuan Qiu, Paula H. Palmer, C. Anderson Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


School-based prevention programs are not common in China and the attempts to modify successful Western prevention programs have largely shown little effect. Distinct cultural and social systems differences could explain why modified programs have been unsuccessful. Smoking behavior is examined from the perspective of Chinese adolescents as part of the development of a large intervention trial. A total of 16 focus groups with 128 participants were conducted in Chengdu in Sichuan province of China. Impressions of adolescent smokers were mixed, most seeing the behavior as common among boys. Smokers were seen as being overwhelmed and stressed. Girls' smoking was mostly seen as universally "bad" and reflecting poorly on a girl's character. However, a small portion of focus group participants suggested that female smoking was fashionable and trendy. With social norms changing rapidly in the "new" China, understanding what the new generation of Chinese youth thinks about smoking is critical in determining how to address and tailor prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-307
Number of pages12
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012



  • China
  • adolescent
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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