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Addressing Health Disparities Through Alcohol Outlet Density

There are many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lives. One of many interesting public health observations is the impact of the pandemic on alcohol consumption. Thanks in part to many bars and restaurants being closed at some point during the last year, off-premise alcohol sales saw a significant spike in spring 2020 [More]

April 1, 2021|Categories: Alcohol, Data, Health Equity, Point of Sale, Policy|

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 [More]

March 24, 2021|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Health Equity, Policy|

Geographic Surveillance Learning Collaborative 2020 – Highlights from Tobacco Control Programs

The Geographic Health Equity Alliance (GHEA) and Counter Tools facilitated the inaugural Geographic Surveillance Learning Collaborative for National Tobacco Control Programs and National Comprehensive Cancer Control from May to September 2020. In order to participate, interested states were required to establish a three-person team consisting of a statewide representative from each of the following fields: (1) tobacco control, (2) comprehensive cancer control and [More]

March 10, 2021|Categories: Data, Partners, Policy|

Letter to FDA on Menthol Cigarettes and other Flavored Tobacco Products

The undersigned public health, medical, education and community organizations write to urge prompt action by the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit menthol cigarettes and other non-tobacco flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars. The public health and medical community has long been united in calling on FDA to use its authority under the Family [More]

March 4, 2021|Categories: Advocacy, Policy|

Key Components of a Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program

Limiting the availability of products like tobacco helps protect those most vulnerable and improves the health of all. Here are some key considerations for implementing a comprehensive tobacco control program. Tobacco prevention and control work is a key part of public health. We know that tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, [More]

February 25, 2021|Categories: Point of Sale, Policy|

Success Story: Using Local Data to Pass Policies for Tobacco Prevention in Golden Valley, Minnesota

We have a new success story about one of our partners that serves as a great example of a local area passing strong tobacco prevention policies. In 2019, the city of Golden Valley in Hennepin County, Minnesota passed a number of comprehensive tobacco prevention policies, and in June 2020, they passed additional regulations to restrict [More]

December 16, 2020|Categories: Partners, Point of Sale, Policy, Success Stories|

UNC and PHLC release Policy Playbook For E-cigarettes

University of North Carolina's Vaping Prevention Resource and Public Health Law Center recently released the Policy Playbook for E-cigarettes. The Playbook provides state and local stakeholders with a framework of policies and practices to pursue, guidelines on policy implementation, case studies, and examples. As a supplement, Public Health Law Center is hosting a webinar this [More]

December 9, 2020|Categories: Partners, Policy, Resource|

Tobacco Retailer Licensing Considerations for Rural Communities

In the United States, rates of tobacco use are higher in rural than urban populations, yet rural communities often lack the tobacco control policy coverage present in more urban areas. While there are several reasons why policy adoption may be more challenging in rural areas, some rural communities have found success with local-level tobacco control [More]

November 30, 2020|Categories: Point of Sale, Policy|

Letter to FDA on Prohibiting Menthol Cigarettes

The undersigned public health and medical organizations write to urge the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant the pending Citizen Petition referenced above and commence the requested rulemaking to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes. The menthol Citizen Petition was filed over seven years ago and has yet to receive a substantive [More]

November 12, 2020|Categories: Advocacy, Policy|

Nebraska passes T21 policy and adds electronic smoking devices to their Clean Indoor Air Act

Counter Tools is thrilled to congratulate Nebraska, one of our partnering states, on two exciting policy victories! LB1064 This bill makes Nebraska the 33rd state to pass statewide T21 legislation. By raising the minimum legal sale age (MLSA) to 21, the state now aligns with the federal law, which helps to reduce consumer and retailer [More]

September 18, 2020|Categories: Partners, Point of Sale, Policy|

California passes ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products

We’re excited by the news that California’s State Assembly recently passed a bill prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. We know that the tobacco industry has long targeted Black communities and youth with flavored products. Prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products  may increase cessation rates and decrease initiation, improving overall [More]

August 31, 2020|Categories: Point of Sale, Policy|

Reducing Tobacco Disparities with Minimum Floor Price Laws

According to the Surgeon General, raising the price of tobacco products is one of the most effective strategies for reducing initiation, decreasing consumption and increasing cessation. While excise taxes are a common strategy for increasing tobacco prices, minimum floor price laws are another promising non-tax strategy with the potential to reduce health disparities. Each day, [More]

August 26, 2020|Categories: Health Equity, Point of Sale, Policy|

Highlights from the Convenience Store News 2020 Tobacco Report

Despite public health’s success in tobacco policy over the recent years, we know tobacco remains a top source of revenue for the convenience store industry. In order to identify appropriate policy interventions or other point of sale strategies for tobacco prevention and control, it’s helpful to understand consumer trends. A look at the “Tobacco Deep [More]

August 20, 2020|Categories: Point of Sale, Policy, Resource|

Secondhand Smoke Exposure: A Social Justice Issue

Many states and localities have adopted comprehensive smoke-free laws. However, there are over 58 million Americans still exposed to secondhand smoke today. A closer look at which communities are left unprotected reveals clear health inequities and points to a need for smoke-free protections for all as a strategy to advance social justice. The idea that [More]

July 14, 2020|Categories: Health Equity, Housing, Policy|

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, [More]

May 26, 2020|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Policy|

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 [More]

May 7, 2020|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Policy|

Place Matters for our Health, and Tobacco Retailers Play a Significant Part

Over the last few years, several corporate-owned chains and franchise stores have made commitments to reducing youth tobacco access. Conversely, other franchises have started selling tobacco, which has increased tobacco retailer density in some regions. These changes can have a significant impact on a community's tobacco retail market depending on the geographic location of that [More]

May 4, 2020|Categories: Policy|

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 [More]

March 3, 2020|Categories: Counter Tobacco Podcast, Policy|

FDA finally issues official guidance on new federal flavor ban

Earlier this month the FDA finally released a guidance document detailing enforcement priorities of the new federal flavor ban. The administration originally promised to ban all flavored tobacco products but the final result is a parsed down version. The new guidance document prohibits retailers from selling all flavors of cartridge-based electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). [More]

January 21, 2020|Categories: Policy|
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