STAAND – Gold Country Rural Regional Project
STAAND (Small Town Allies Against Nicotine Dependency) is a tobacco prevention project working in the rural Gold Country region of central-eastern California. Particularly focused on the counties of: Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Inyo, Mono, Nevada, Stanislaus, Sutter, and Tuolumne; and the cities within these counties.
While California as a whole has lower rates of smoking and tobacco use than the rest of the United States, rural Californian communities have much higher rates with young people typically becoming addicted to tobacco at younger ages, people of all ages using tobacco products more often, and much higher use rates of smokeless tobacco products like chew and snus. All of this leads to higher rates of chronic disease in communities where access to quality health care and quit services can also be challenge.
Currently, STAAND is working on three tobacco-prevention issues:
1. Establishing smoke, vape, and tobacco-free community colleges, fire training programs, and technical colleges.
2. Adopting tobacco-free and healthy community goals and policies into city and county general plan documents which provide a long-term vision for the community.
3. Recruiting, training, and engaging young adults from rural Gold Country communities to get involved in tobacco prevention, share their own stories related to tobacco and addiction, and advocate for tobacco-free and healthy communities where they live, learn, and work.