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Counter Tobacco Podcast

Counter Tobacco Podcast

The Counter Tobacco Podcast is an interview and research-based podcast that aims to highlight the role of the tobacco industry’s influence at the point of sale. Episodes range from deep dives on how the tobacco industry targets different groups of people to coverage of what’s being done today to counter tobacco sales and marketing in the retail environment.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, StitcherSpotify, or LibSyn. is the first comprehensive resource for local, state, and federal organizations working to counteract commercial tobacco product sales and marketing at the point of sale (POS). The site offers the latest research, news updates, policy solutions, case studies, advocacy materials, factsheets, youth engagement activities, and an image gallery exposing tobacco industry tactics at the point of sale. is a project of Counter Tools and is supported by ChangeLab Solutions and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Subscribe to the Counter Tobacco newsletter to stay up-to-date on tobacco point-of-sale news and research.

29Aug, 2022

Counter Tobacco Podcast : Tobacco Point of Sale Preemption (Episode 30)

Earlier this year, along with our partners at ChangeLab Solutions, we published a resource on this topic called the Tobacco Point of Sale Preemption Playbook. It equips tobacco prevention staff and their partners with the knowledge, context, and resources needed to understand how preemption influences their work. In this episode, we talk through some of the basics of what preemption means, the different forms it can take, how to determine what your [More]

3May, 2022

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Tobacco-Related Assurances of Voluntary Compliance (Episode 29)

In this episode, we provide a primer on tobacco-related Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC), which are legally binding and enforceable agreements between companies (i.e. big tobacco retailers) and one or more states (under each state attorneys general) in which the retailer agrees to adhere to certain standards and practices to reflect their commitment to the responsible marketing of tobacco products. Common examples of these standards and practices include limiting the type and [More]

30Mar, 2022

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Store Assessments (Episode 28)

Store assessments are visits to retail tobacco stores to document and collect data on what tobacco products are being sold and how they are being marketed and promoted in your community. In this episode, learn both why and how to conduct them, as well as how the data you collect can be used. Listen below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or LibSyn. Read a transcript of this episode. Store Assessment Resources and [More]

4Feb, 2022

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Point-of-Sale Pricing Policies (Episode 27)

In this episode we talk about point-of-sale pricing policies, meaning ways to raise the price of tobacco sold in retail stores. Raising prices is one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use initiation, decrease consumption, and increase cessation. Learn how point-of-sale pricing policies, including minimum floor prices and bans on price discounts and coupon redemption, can complement tax increases to keep prices high and reduce disparities. Listen below or on Apple [More]

27Sep, 2021

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Nicotine Pouches and Other “Modern” Oral Nicotine Products (Episode 26)

In this quick primer of an episode, we talk about nicotine pouches like “Zyn” and other so-called “modern” oral nicotine products, how they are being marketed and sold in the retail environment, and options for regulating this small but rapidly growing product segment with concerns about youth initiation in mind. Listen below or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or LibSyn.  Read a transcript of this podcast episode. More on synthetic nicotine and [More]

12May, 2021

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Endgame (Episode 25)

Our latest podcast episode describes the “endgame” for commercial tobacco control toward a tobacco-free future. Learn about possible strategies and examples of places that are already implementing endgame policies. Endgame strategies have been defined as “initiatives designed to change/eliminate permanently the structural, political, and social dynamics that sustain the tobacco epidemic, in order to end it within a specific time,” and moving towards the endgame means, “moving beyond tobacco control (which assumes [More]

24Mar, 2021

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Equitable Enforcement in Commercial Tobacco Control Policy (Episode 24)

In this episode, we talk with Natasha Phelps, a Lead Senior Staff Attorney at the Public Health Law Center, about the recent statement on “Decriminalizing Commercial Tobacco: Addressing Systemic Racism in the Enforcement of Commercial Tobacco Control” that was released last year by a consortium of public health organizations. We take a deeper dive into that statement, discussing the values outlined in it as well as some practical ways to translate those [More]

25Jan, 2021

Counter Tobacco Podcast: The Tobacco Control Vaccine Booster (Episode 23)

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Amanda Kong, one of the authors of a recent paper “Boosting the Tobacco Control Vaccine: recognizing the role of the retail environment in addressing tobacco use and disparities.” We discuss how key retail strategies, including addressing product availability, pricing and promotions, advertising and display, the minimum age of sale, and retail licensure can complement those in the original Tobacco Control Vaccine (price increases, smoke-free policies, [More]

2Nov, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Equity in Point-of-Sale Tobacco Control (Episode 22)

This episode is all about working towards health equity with point-of-sale tobacco control. We discuss some of the drivers behind inequities in tobacco use and related morbidities and mortality, and how we can use a pro-equity approach to plan, implement, and enforce policies that allow all individuals and all communities a fair and just opportunity to achieve their greatest level of health.  Read the transcript for this episode here.   Subscribe [More]

1Oct, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: On Your Radar – September Spotlight on Flavor Bans (Episode 21)

'On Your Radar' is a new episode format designed to put the most relevant and recent news stories and research on countering tobacco product sales, promotions, and marketing in the retail environment on your radar. This episode spotlights flavor bans. From the West Coast (California) to the Midwest (Edina and Fridley, MN & Chicago, IL), we’ve got you covered on the most recent news surrounding restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products.  [More]

3Sep, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: On Your Radar – August POS News (Episodes 19 & 20)

Released as two mini episodes throughout the month, 'On Your Radar' is a new episode format designed to put the most relevant and recent news stories and research on countering tobacco product sales, promotions, and marketing in the retail environment on your radar. Part 1, released August 14th, covers Georgia's Tobacco 21 bill, letters regarding e-cigarettes sent to the FDA from lawmakers and a handful of public health and medical organizations, LA County's flavor ban and research [More]

30Jul, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Heated Tobacco Products (Episode 18)

This episode is designed to answer all your questions about heated tobacco products, or as the industry refers to them, “heat-not-burn” products. This episode covers their design and safety, assesses their marketing and current regulation, examines a bit of the newer research and literature on the products, explains the FDA’s ‘modified risk’ label authorization for the IQOS Heated Tobacco System, and considers policy options moving forward.  Transcript for the episode can [More]

6Jul, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: ‘Authentic Voices’ – An Interview with Shaun Pryor (Episode 17)

This episode is the first in what we hope will be a new series called, 'Authentic Voices', where we speak with individuals in communities across the US to hear how their lived experiences and interactions in the retail environment impacted their journey with tobacco. In this episode, we speak with Shaun Pryor, a Chicago-native and Oklahoma-transplant who is an outspoken advocate against Big Tobacco and the manipulative tactics they use to lure [More]

26May, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Tobacco-Free Pharmacies (Episode 16)

Pharmacies are licensed healthcare facilities uniquely positioned to provide healthcare services and health advice directly to community members across the US. Yet, many pharmacies still widely promote and sell tobacco products, the leading cause of preventable disease and death in this country. This episode focuses entirely on tobacco-free pharmacies. We’ll hone in on evidence-backed research, dive into case studies and success stories, and consider the policy options that can establish tobacco-free pharmacies [More]

7May, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Tobacco Retailer Licensing (Episode 15)

Tobacco retail licenses (TRLs) are one of the most lasting and effective strategies in tobacco control. In addition to letting states and localities know who is selling tobacco, licensing is an evidence-based way to reduce tobacco use; it also offers a versatile regulatory platform that allows jurisdictions to implement additional policies that can further reduce tobacco use and reduce disparities in the retail environment. This episode offers a mini boot camp in [More]

31Mar, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: The Tobacco Industry’s Targeting of Low SES Communities (Episode 14)

The tobacco industry spends over $9 billion dollars each year marketing cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in the United States. This episode dives into the ways in which the industry allocates this exorbitant amount of money to target communities of low socioeconomic status, and examines how the industry’s manipulative tactics impact disparities in tobacco use and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.

3Mar, 2020

Counter Tobacco Podcast: A Look at the Federal Flavor Ban & Tobacco 21 (Episode 13)

Over the past few months, we’ve seen a lot of changes to the regulatory environment surrounding tobacco products. This episode highlights the new federal flavor ban and Tobacco 21 law, as well as what some states and local jurisdictions have done to advance tobacco control and what your locality could do to support strong tobacco control.

27Nov, 2019

Counter Tobacco Podcast: Hookah at the Point of Sale (Episode 11)

In this episode, we take a closer look at hookah. Learn about trends in hookah tobacco use, hookah industry marketing and promotional strategies at the point of sale and point of consumption, examples of current state and local-level regulations, and point-of-sale policy options. Learn more about hookah tobacco at the point-of-sale on in our evidence summary.

14Jun, 2019

Counter Tobacco Podcast: An Interview with Katherine Ungar on Tobacco 21 (Episode 10)

In the latest episode of the Counter Tobacco Podcast, we interview Katherine Ungar, Executive Director of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. Learn about how interest in policies raising the minimum legal sales age to 21 (or "Tobacco 21" policies) has grown in the US, what makes a strong Tobacco 21 policy, and pitfalls to avoid. We talk about federal Tobacco 21 bills that have been introduced in Congress and how Tobacco 21 [More]

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