Leadership & Learning


RISE – Statewide Rural Coordinating Center

Who We Are

RISE supports rural tobacco projects by leveraging resources, providing leadership training and opportunities, and offering educational materials specially designed to assist rural communities.

Rural communities are full of hardworking people who value strength and independence. Tobacco companies understand this, so they package and advertise their deadly products to play to values of self-reliance and resiliency with images such as cowboys, hunters and race car drivers.

Big Tobacco takes advantage of weaker tobacco licensing laws in rural communities–aggressively marketing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, like chew.


(1) Create and disseminate a Rural Communities Policy Platform to policymakers, community champions, and key stakeholders

(2) Develop new tobacco control leaders from among California’s rural

(3) Build capacity within rural communities to engage in tobacco control policy advocacy through a series of Tobacco Control Learning Institutes

RISE’s Statement on White Privilege, Social Justice and Equity in Rural California

Leadership & Learning

Take Action

Local tobacco coalitions in each county are working to decrease health disparities by advocating for strong tobacco policy. Return to this space often to see the progress communities are making and to learn about ways you can help to protect your family and neighbors.

Leadership & Learning

RISE Leadership Development Program

The RISE Leadership Development Program (LDP) is a 5-month program to create tobacco advocacy champions in rural communities. California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) project staff and other community stakeholders are all invited to attend. Participants will attend monthly virtual and in-person sessions to improve leadership skills and build knowledge related to the impact of commercial tobacco use in rural regions. Participants will also learn how to build support in their communities to fight back against the tobacco industry’s targeting of rural communities.

RISE Learning Institutes

The RISE Learning Institutes consist of three tobacco control workshop series developed to support rural communities to advance local tobacco-related policy initiatives.

These workshops are designed for environmental groups and California Tobacco Control Program project staff that serve rural communities. Topics include the impact of tobacco on the environment, tobacco product waste interventions, and policies that have been implemented throughout California.

These workshops are tailored for law enforcement agencies and California Tobacco Control Program project staff that serve rural communities. Topics include strategies and best practices on enforcing tobacco control policies and implementing funding mechanisms for tobacco control enforcement.

These workshops are intended for California Tobacco Control Program project staff that serve rural communities, especially those who work with, or who would like to work with, the Native American gaming industry. Topics include leadership structure for casinos located in the rural regions, history of tobacco control efforts with the industry, and relationship-building strategies.

Registration for each Learning Institute will be posted under Events.

Tobacco control advocates in rural areas may transform challenges into strengths by leveraging the benefits of tight-knit communities to reduce the health disparities found there. RISE: Rural Initiatives Strengthening Equity is the Rural Priority Population Coordinating Center funded to provide expertise, support and technical assistance to projects working in rural communities.