Beginning from a list of about 4,000 retailers, Counter Tools compiled data from the FDA, Synar, and Dunn & Bradstreet to expand the list to over 8,000 retailers. In an effort to verify accuracy, VDBHDS and Counter Tools reviewed the expanded list and removed all retailers deemed unlikely to sell tobacco.
Next, Virginia Community Service Boards (CSBs) worked closely with Counter Tools to plan out a strategy for ground truthing any missing tobacco retailers. The state was divided into regions and teams were formed that would undertake the enormous task of driving every primary and secondary road in the state and recording GPS locations of all observed tobacco retailers.
This important ground truthing work resulted in the addition of another 2,000 retailers that had not previously been on any list. Interestingly, when comparing commercially available data to this ground truthed data, VDBHDS determined that their previous list was only 18% correct.