We are excited to partner in new ways with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to support MDH in working toward its vision for health equity in Minnesota, where all communities are thriving and all people have what they need to be healthy. After partnering with MDH from 2013 – 2021, Counter Tools is providing technical assistance, training, and tools for MDH grantees to complete comprehensive assessments of the local retail environment through standardized store audits, mapping, and data analysis. We will also support MDH as they work to develop their own in-house data dashboard to visualize store audit results and engage community partners in their work. 

We are also excited to partner again with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to support local youth tobacco coalitions called Resist chapters that work on peer-to-peer education, awareness, and policies that prevent tobacco use across the state. Counter Tools is providing youth-focused technical assistance on commercial tobacco control prevention and control efforts in the retail environment, supporting Resist chapter youth advocates in conducting assessments at tobacco retail stores in their Kansas communities, and working with KDHE to develop a data visualization dashboard to convey key store assessment findings.

“Conducting these store assessments will give students a great opportunity to go into their community and see how prevalent tobacco products are. We have conducted retailer assessments in the past, and the students really enjoyed the chance to do hands-on work and collect data, and see firsthand what is being sold and advertised in our communities. Having this data will benefit our community as it will allow us to see what the needs are for tobacco retail policies, how to better educate and protect the young people in our community, and what work still needs to be done.”

-Ariel Cohn, Prevention Specialist at DCCCA

We are thrilled to be partnering with CADCA in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Health to create and implement Take Back Your 10, a comprehensive strategy for designing and launching a youth-led, adult-guided tobacco prevention and control movement in Maryland. Youth participants created the Take Back Your Ten (TB10) name for their movement to reflect their commitment not only to reclaiming the potential ten years lost in the average lifespan of tobacco users, but also to advocate for their communities to join the cause. As part of this partnership, Counter Tools will besupporting strategic planning efforts, conducting virtual and in-person training, and creating a Point-of-Sale Youth Activity Guide unique to Maryland youth to chronicle how tobacco products are being advertised, marketed, and sold at the point of sale in their communities.


The photo was captured by LeAnne Richardson of a youth advocate conducting a store assessment in Kansas City, KS on Thursday, October 26, 2023.