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Addressing commercial tobacco use in a marginalized community through human-centered design.



Creating a community of Pro-smokers/Anti-smoking through human-centered design.
Fighting tobacco use through empathy.


Northwell focuses on community engagement and partnership building to create lasting change to commercial tobacco use in North Minneapolis. The program integrate Policy/Systems/Environmental strategy to increase smoking cessation program utilization in the community.

A 5-year project breaks down to:
Year 1 - Community assessment, need finding, story collecting, and insight gathering.
Year 2 - Identifying the ecosystem of what a Pro-smokers/Anti-smoking community looks like, what is a sense of belonging without cigarette?
Year 3, 4, 5 - Create a network of allies from family and friends to smoke shop,  to organizations and institutions. Defining and co-creating guide on their roles, knowledge building on how to be an ally.

Identifying needs

Define the issue



Lead Designer and Project Manager: Beau Sinchai
Community Health Workers: Jonale Ward, Tiffany Barnes
Public Allies AmeriCorps Member: Kami Choi

Partnership of Pillsbury United Communities x Minnesota Department of Health

Read about our work in the press: 
Helping Smokers Reduce Stress of Poverty Is Key to Quitting


Pilot / Prototype

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Sandra represents the common stories we have heard.  Our goal is to create a network of allies for the Sandras of our North Minneapolis community.