Rural communities have some of the highest tobacco use rates in California and report tobacco use initiation at a younger age. As a result, these populations also face higher lung disease rates.
Learning more about this community can help understand the challenges and strengthen interventions. Rural risk factors for health disparities include geographic isolation, lower socioeconomic status, higher rates of health risk behaviors, limited access to healthcare specialists, and limited job opportunities. This inequality intensifies as rural residents are less likely to have either employer-provided health insurance coverage or Medicaid.
The use of tobacco can complicate other health issues faced by these communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists
common issues experienced among rural communities and the gaps in health that can be addressed, including tobacco cessation promotion.
Rural communities have been one of the groups targeted heavily by the tobacco industry. The industry has taken advantage of weaker tobacco retailer licensing laws and aligned marketing images with values like resilience, hard work, and strength. They depict these qualities through pictures of cowboys, hunters, and race car drivers.
Some regions receive California Tobacco Control Programs (CTCP) funding to address disparities faced by rural communities. Visit
CA RISE Rural Regional Projects to learn about potential partnerships with regional agency offices, including the Health Collaborative, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and Tobacco-Free North Coast. Connect with these offices to participate in a collective effort toward tackling tobacco-related issues.
Part of Tobacco Free CA's Story of Inequity project, this page provides an overview of the Tobacco Industry's targeting of rural communities and relevant data.
Story of Inequity
Click on the link to access data and information about the Tobacco Industry's history of targeting rural communities.
Rural Initiatives Strengthening Equity (RISE)
Visit the RISE website for information, tools, and resources related to tobacco among rural communities in California.
Tobacco-Free North Coast
Visit the website for more resources found in California's North Coast region, including Native American Cessation resources and information on local initiatives.
Advancing Tobacco Prevention and Control in Rural America
Download the PDF for more information about the tobacco control and prevention efforts implemented within rural regions across the US, including in Crescent, CA.