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The Impact of the Retail Environment and Alcohol Outlet Density

The alcohol industry is quite transparent in their goals to recruit new drinkers, including women, Hispanic consumers and “beer rejectors”. One strategy that has seen growing success over the course of the last 20 years is offering new products that are sweeter and easier to drink than traditional beer or distilled spirits. These flavored malt beverages, [More]

April 3, 2023|Categories: Alcohol, Point of Sale|

Retailers will now be required to post tobacco industry “corrective statements” at the point of sale

Starting July 1, 2023, nearly 200,000 tobacco retailers across the country must begin installing signs in their stores with “corrective statements” from the tobacco industry. This is a long-awaited result of a 2006 federal court case ruling in which major tobacco companies were found guilty of racketeering for deliberately misleading the public about the health risks of [More]

December 22, 2022|Categories: Point of Sale, Policy|

Store Assessments: A powerful tool for understanding the retail environment

Marketing and promotions for alcohol and tobacco products saturate retail stores in most communities—the same places where you buy milk, snacks, and medicine. Research has shown that exposure to advertising and promotions for these products have a number of negative health impacts, such as prompting youth initiation, encouraging impulse purchases, and leading to brand preference. [More]

December 1, 2022|Categories: Alcohol, Data, Point of Sale|

Success story: Kansas high schoolers participate in summer project to learn about the tobacco retail environment

From September 2021 to August 2022, Counter Tools supported the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to address two of their identified priority areas: preventing the initiation of tobacco use among youth and young adults, and addressing tobacco-related health inequities. This included point-of-sale training for KDHE’s Chronic Disease and Risk Reduction community grantees as [More]

November 22, 2022|Categories: Point of Sale, Success Stories|

The benefits of mapping alcohol outlets

Mapping is a public health tool that has been used for centuries to find patterns, tell stories, and support policies. In 1854, mapping the location of cholera deaths allowed John Snow to identify a pattern and ultimately determine the source of the outbreak. While our technology has greatly improved, the same basic idea of using [More]

September 30, 2022|Categories: Alcohol, Data, Point of Sale|

Point of sale tobacco marketing photo contest launches October 11

We are excited to announce the dates for's 11th Annual Photo Contest! Each year we host this contest to showcase what's happening in the tobacco retail environment all across the country. These images are crucial to educating the public and furthering the success of state and local tobacco control efforts that seek to reduce tobacco [More]

September 30, 2022|Categories: Point of Sale|

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 [More]

August 29, 2022|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Point of Sale|

Creating tobacco control policies that work toward health equity

Tobacco control policies must be formulated and examined with health equity at the forefront to directly address health inequities among Black Americans and other marginalized communities. Even the best intentioned tobacco product regulation policies may reinforce racism and the inequitable impact on marginalized communities. We must create more effective policies at both the federal and [More]

August 2, 2022|Categories: Health Equity, Point of Sale, Policy|

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 [More]

May 3, 2022|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Point of Sale|

Healthy POS Webinar Series: The Effects of Preemption and Opportunities for Action in Preempted States

Counter Tools hosted a webinar on April 14, 2022 with special guests from Indiana and ChangeLab Solutions. With the introduction of new preemption bills during the pandemic and existing preempted states, tobacco point-of-sale related preemption presents a challenge to policy action and local control. This webinar equipped attendees with information on the basis of preemption using [More]

April 5, 2022|Categories: Point of Sale, Policy, Webinars|Tags: |

Addressing the Off-Campus Tobacco Retail Environment to Enhance Tobacco Free Colleges

Colleges and universities across the country have had success in using policy to protect students from exposure to secondhand smoke on campus. However, these policies do not address the tobacco retail environment immediately off-campus. Considering the off-campus retail environment in tobacco control efforts can be the perfect next step to further protecting the health of college [More]

March 7, 2022|Categories: Health Equity, Point of Sale|

Tobacco Point of Sale Preemption Playbook

Local governments often lead the way in adopting laws and policies aimed at improving health outcomes and reducing inequities, including point-of-sale commercial tobacco control policies. However, state preemption can thwart local efforts to adopt laws and policies that protect public health and advance health equity. The Tobacco Point of Sale Preemption Playbook, a new resource [More]

February 28, 2022|Categories: Partners, Point of Sale, Policy, Resource|

Report: Surveying How the Tobacco Industry Markets Flavors in Five Midwestern Cities

A report from Counter Tools and Truth Initiative examines how flavored tobacco products are marketed and sold in 5 U.S. cities, with new data looking specifically at e-cigarette products.   Download Materials Summary report: Surveying How the Tobacco Industry Markets Flavors in Five Midwestern Cities  Full report and fSTARS form: Retail Store Assessments for Flavored Tobacco Products: [More]

February 9, 2022|Categories: Data, Partners, Point of Sale, Resource|

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 [More]

February 4, 2022|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Point of Sale|

2020 sees increase in cigarette sales and tobacco advertising

The Covid-19 pandemic caused businesses across the world to think critically about their spending. While many industries saw major cuts to their budgets in 2020, interestingly, recent data from the Federal Trade Commission report reveals that advertising and promotion of cigarettes increased from $7.62 billion in 2019 to $7.84 billion in 2020. This corresponds to [More]

November 2, 2021|Categories: Point of Sale|

FDA rejects most flavored e-cigarette products, with critical decisions yet to be made

The FDA recently issued marketing denial orders on thousands of tobacco products, but applications for the biggest e-cigarette brands are still under review. The FDA was ordered by a federal court to take action by September 9th on applications for approval of tobacco products that were not on the market before 2016. Under the pre-market [More]

September 29, 2021|Categories: Point of Sale|

Healthy POS Webinar Series: Alcohol at the POS – Places, Promotions, and Problems

We hosted a webinar in our "Healthy POS Webinar Series" on Thursday, June 17 at 11am EST. Our guest speaker was Dr. Pamela Trangenstein, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior, UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health; and a leading alcohol researcher. The advertising and selling of alcohol products at alcohol outlets (e.g., [More]

June 9, 2021|Categories: Alcohol, Data, Health Equity, Point of Sale, Webinars|Tags: |

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 [More]

May 12, 2021|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Point of Sale, Policy|
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