About Us

NE Summit 2007

Asian American Youth Against Tobacco (AAYAT) is a statewide youth coalition dedicated to activism and advocacy against tobacco use and it is the first statewide tobacco control project for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Ohio. AAYAT was initiated in November 2002 and since grown to include nearly 300 youth and 50 adults from across the state of Ohio. AAYAT is a program of Asian Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA) located in Akron, Ohio, and is funded with dollars from the Master Settlement Aggreement of 1998 through the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation.

Our History

In 2000, ASIA identified a lack of resources for to address the impact of tobacco and its negative health effects on AAPI youth and adults in the state of Ohio. With intial funding from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health, ASIA created Asians for Tobacco-Free Ohio (AFTFO), a statewide coalition of AAPI adults and youth, to begin to address increasing tobacco use. AFTFO conducted a community needs assessment and tobacco use surveys among adults and youth in Northeast Ohio. With their findings, the group mobilized several communities in the Northeast Ohio area to create an infrastructure that eventually let to the creation of AAYAT in 2002. AAYAT is based on the APPEAL National Youth Leadership Program created in California and incorporates key components of the Peer Prevention model created for substance abuse prevention youth programs nationwide.

Read our past AAYAT newsletters here!

The Program

Currently, the AAYAT project hosts five youth leadership groups in cities around Ohio including: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Greater Dayton. AAYAT is open to all youth in grades 9-12, but is especially targeted to youth from Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) backgrounds. Much of the project’s outreach has focused on several AAPI ethinic groups, including Chinese, Filipino, Asian Indian, Japanese, Korean, Hmong, Cambodian, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese communities.

In addition to youth groups in each city, AAYAT is supported by Regional Advisory Boards in each city, often made of local AAPI community leaders, parents, business owners and local tobacco control advocates, and a Statewide Advisory Board. Over the last five years, AAYAT has used this structure to continue to bridge the gap between the AAPI community and the mainstream community through its participation in local tobacco control coaltions and partners. To learn more about our partners, please see the Partners section of the site.

AAYAT is about increasing awareness and reducing the harmful effects of tobacco use through health education, disease prevention, and policy change.

Our mission:

  • To train Asian American youth to be effective leaders and to make a positive impact in their communities
  • To bring together Asian American youth to present tobacco education to local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities
  • To empower Asian American youth and adults to be advocates for tobacco prevention and control in their local communties.

Join AAYAT and serve as an ambassador, advocate, and leader against Big Tobacco for your community!

Asian American Youth Against Tobacco is a program of Asian Services in Action, Inc. (ASIA) and is funded by the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation (OTPF)

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