If you are interested in participating in this study, please visit: https://criticalpublichealth.org/northstatesmokingstudy

There have been significant declines in tobacco use in California over the past several decades. However, high rates of tobacco use – especially cigarette smoking – still remain among some groups. This includes rural young adults. To date, research has neglected rural communities and little is known about how the young adults who live in these areas think about their tobacco use. This project is attempting to understand how tobacco is integrated into the everyday lives of young adults who live in the North State.

California map with Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen highlighted
Image by [Emily Kaner]

We are currently conducting 100 interviews with young women and men who live in 7 adjacent counties in the northeastern part of California. Interviews begin with discussions about living in a rural community and background questions related to family, friends, and daily life in general. This is so that we can get to know each participant and understand the circumstances that surround their tobacco use.

We then ask questions about tobacco use, including when and why they started/stopped using various tobacco products, what they like/dislike about them, where and when they typically use tobacco products, and what they think about state policies that restrict using certain tobacco products. Our goal is to understand how participants themselves describe and think about their own tobacco use.

Participation is voluntary, and each participant who completes both the confidential survey and interview receives $70 in total to thank them for their time. Participants will receive $20 after completing the survey and $50 after completing the interview. Ethical approval for this study has been approved by the Committee of the Protection of Human Subjects at the Institute for Scientific Analysis in Alameda, CA.

Mountain and tree landscape

Project Contact

Ida Wilson, Project Manager
Emily Kaner, Lead Field Researcher


This research is supported by funds from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), grant number T31IR1513 (Tamar Antin, PI). The content provided here is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of TRDRP.