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December 2020
Dear Rural Partners,

As we approach 2021, we hope you are staying healthy and safe. While many of you have been reassigned from your regular positions to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that you are still working hard to protect our communities from the harms of tobacco as well. Smoking and vaping can make the effects of COVID-19 worse, which makes the work we all do to reduce tobacco use and harms is even more important than ever. Additionally, a huge congratulations to everyone who worked hard on passing policies this year. Regardless of if the policy passed, your amazing work is making a huge difference in the health of California!

Stay strong and thank you for all you do!

The RISE Team
RISE Up Leadership Program
RISE is now recruiting participants for our Leadership Development Program, RISE Up!

The program consists of five training modules taught over the course of five months (one session per month from February to June 2021). RISE Up is designed for California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP)-funded project staff who have recently started a position in a Local Lead Agency (LLA) or a Competitive Grantee project serving a rural community. However, all who work in a CTCP-funded project in a rural jurisdiction are welcome to apply.

For more information, including how to apply and what topics will be covered, email Holly Laird at
Free patches from CSH still available:
CA Quits and The California Smokers Helpline continues to offer free NRT through Feb 2021. CA Quits can also offer free printed First 5 Free NRT Helpline postcards to share. The free NRT offer through First 5 is available to anyone living with a child 0-5, 18 and older. 
As the holiday season approaches, many folks are frequenting food banks/pantries, warming centers, mask distribution sites, shelters, flu shot clinics, and other services. If you already have existing relationships with these services, consider including the English and Spanish flyer as well as the First 5 postcard in English and Spanish in bags/boxes that are distributed in the community. 

They still have plenty of these resources to share with communities throughout the state, just reach out!
American Heroes: Tobacco Use Among Military and First Responders Repcap from National Summit on Smokeless Tobacco Product
Katie Moose Project Director STAAND
The “American Heroes: Tobacco Use Among Military and First Responders” presentation, given at the National Summit on Smokeless Tobacco Products in October 2020, featured speakers from the National Institute of Health, the California Youth Advocacy Network, and the California Health Collaborative.  Presenters covered tobacco use trends among first responders, military, and rural populations as well as factors behind the trends and potential strategies to reduce tobacco use rates among these often-overlooked populations.
Data from the U.S.  Institute of Health shows that cigarette smoking among first responders is decreasing at the same rate as the general population, but smokeless tobacco use among first responders is higher than the general population. In fact, data shows that smokeless tobacco usage is rapidly increasing in first responders, particularly firefighters. The tobacco industry has targeted firefighters in their ads which contribute to the increased smokeless rates found in this population. It is important to remember that smoke and tobacco-free advocates will typically have to confront two things when working with fire departments: 1.Chiefs are often opposed to new tobacco restrictions because they see it as an unnecessary drain on their strapped resources, and 2. that fire departments in rural communities are very likely to have a culture of tobacco use within their departments.
Moreover, it was also found that military personnel also struggle with smoke and tobacco-free lifestyles. There are many factors that contribute to use in military personnel. For example, military culture, branch of service, deployment, conflict era, substance use comorbidities, and the transition to civilian life post-service. All these factors can make it very difficult for U.S. soldiers to avoid tobacco products, especially when they are targeted by the industry.
However, first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, military personnel, and many others can fight against big tobacco. State and national campaigns have provided education to motivate and support quit attempts, but more work needs to be done to support these communities. Affordable and accessible cessation services are needed for smoke and tobacco-free lifestyles to become a norm in targeted communities. By eliminating the disparities these communities face, health equity can be achieved. 
Watch The Full Presentation Here
SB 793 Update
By Amber Morris, Central Valley Regional Coordinator RISE
The Los Angeles Times reported late last month that the tobacco industry successfully collected over 1 million signatures for the senate bill 793 (SB 793) referendum. The Secretary of State’s office will begin verifying these are legal signatures.  The deadline for counties to verify signatures is Jan 21, 2021.

If the Secretary of State’s office does confirm the referendum qualifies, this means the flavored tobacco ban that was supposed to take effect on January 1, 2020, would be suspended until November 2022 when the measure goes onto the ballot for California voters to decide.

This highlights the importance of why we need to continue pursuing comprehensive TRL policies in our communities: to prevent more young people from getting addicted to deadly tobacco products. Every day, a young person picks up a flavored product and starts a life-long addiction. We must continue the fight against big tobacco to ensure health equity for all.
Smoke-Free North State Has Rebranded
Smoke-Free North State has rebranded! They are reintroducing themselves as LEAD: Leadership in Equity Action and Development. After digging into their new set of objectives, they realized that the old name and logo no longer fit. This project tackles youth leadership development, health in planning, and predatory tobacco advertising. The name LEAD encapsulates all of these goals and will help us with relationship building in tobacco control policy adverse jurisdictions.

For more about LEAD contact Program Director Marissa Maxey
Crescent Passes Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing Ordinance 
By Emily Goldstein North Coast Regional Coordinator RISE
On November 16th Crescent City’s City Council adopted a Smoke-Free Multi-Unit Housing ordinance after a 4-1 vote. The ordinance will be in effect January 1st, 2021 and landlords will be required to provide prospective tenants with written notice that smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of units before June 2021. This ordinance is the result of more than 3 years of hard work from the Tobacco Free Del Norte Coalition. Many coalition and community members came forward in council meeting after council meeting to give public comment voicing support for the ordinance and provide education on the effects of second and thirdhand smoke in multi-unit housing. The passing of this ordinance bumped Crescent City’s overall tobacco control grade from a D to a B. This is a huge win for the health of Crescent City. Congratulations Crescent City and the Tobacco-Free Del Norte Coalition!
Contact the RISE team for help during the CX process
The RISE team is here to help you during the CX process! We are happy to provide technical assistance to advance health equity and connect community members to Local Lead Agencies (LLAs). Please fill out our technical assistance form on our website if you want help. 
Click Here to Reach Out
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