With our partners, we advance place-based public health by implementing and enforcing policy, systems, and environmental changes that promote health equity across communities.

We aim to reduce the detrimental impact of unhealthy substances such as tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy food at the consumer’s primary point of exposure and access: the retail environment.

Healthy choices

Counter Tools draws on the best available science and an evidence-based model of change to help state and local partners reduce the impact of products that harm the health of individuals and communities. Based on a community’s needs, our work focuses on prevention strategies, enforcement tactics, or a combination of both.

With a team of public health experts, we offer extensive training, technical assistance, and advanced technology aimed at increasing our partners’ capacity to build healthier communities for all.

Model of Change

We use an evidence-based model of change to empower communities to become healthier places.

Technical Assistance

Our strategic consulting services draw on public health expertise to help our partners facilitate local and state-level policy, systems, and interventions.

Photo of team member advising partner


Our skilled team of data analysts, designers, and GIS specialists will synthesize your unique data to tell the story of your community’s state of health, useful for community awareness, coalition building, and policy change.

Data analytics based on your research questions and goals. We can clean your data and deliver SAS output of analytical results with both descriptive and statistical analysis.
Storytelling that creates instant understanding of key findings from your data. We build upon our Data Analysis work to create infographics, static maps, and other charts and visual aids.
In-depth reports to equip local leaders with information for formulating strong, relevant, effective strategy. Reports may include analysis of the current environment; potential for public health impact; policy context; legal feasibility; and political will and community readiness. Key findings from your data collected in our software tools may be included.
Uncovering data insights and analysis that may influence decision makers. We can create presentations, handouts, or other marketing content from this information that will complement your data work and help advocate for change.

Strategic Consulting

We work with clients to grow public awareness, incorporate knowledge into community education, and strengthen the efficacy of policy and interventions through goal-setting.

Public health expertise to address problems identified along the path to policy change. Our expertise is coupled with one-on-one project management to help you strategize, celebrate milestones, and share emerging evidence from the field.

Development of retailer lists and in-store surveys to help you document industry sales and marketing practices. We can determine a sample of retailers to assess based on needs and goals and develop a work plan for data collection in the field.

Assistance in convening stakeholders and energizing public health advocates to set an agenda for change. We can help you organize summits that highlight store assessment findings and spatial stories, as you plan next steps for community education and outreach.

Assistance in completing all of the steps required through the Synar Amendment, from conducting a coverage study and developing a sampling frame to planning compliance visits and analyzing data.

Photo of team member with data visualization


In-person and web-based trainings create a strong foundation for building strategies for change. We want you to be successful in your goal of building healthy communities, and our training can get you there.

In-Person Training

Our interactive trainings offer dynamic discussion around your community’s challenges as well as goal-setting for policy implementation based on your community’s needs.

In-person software training is the most effective path toward helping our partners understand and adopt new software tools and methods.

Store audits to help our partners document the problem at the local level while hands-on trainings cover in-store etiquette, help calm nerves, and energize data collectors to engage in citizen science.

Knowledge-sharing with those who are doing similar work. Our team is prepared to discuss challenges, successes, best practices, and emerging evidence in the field at your next conference or meeting.
Our training topics include a variety of place-based public health concepts, including but not limited to the following:

  • Understanding and Advancing Place-Based Public Health
  • Why the Retail Environment Matters for Health
  • Understanding Contracts between the Tobacco Industry and Tobacco Retail Outlets
  • The Purpose of Store Assessments for Point-of-Sale Policy Change
  • Store Assessment General Instructions and Store Etiquette
  • How to Collect Good Quality Data: Reliability and Validity
  • The Purpose of Mapping for Point-of-Sale Policy Change
  • Telling a Story with Store Assessment and Map Data: Choosing the Audience and Frame

Hands-on training in a supportive and low-pressure environment, aimed at confident day-to-day management of our digital tools.

Online Training

Customized online training to guide you through our model of change and share best practices and success stories. Webinar content can also be designed for software training and other technical assistance.

Tech Tools

We develop software that facilitates data collection, synthesis, and reporting. We can help manage your account to create an easier experience, ensure data integrity, and provide custom solutions.

Technology Services

These offerings can smooth the initial setup and ongoing maintenance of your account so you can focus on data collection and find actionable insights.

Trustworthy data maintenance, including data cleaning, formatting, and uploads. Counter Tools staff can provide assistance with your retailer, visit, and venue data and ensure standards for your data before upload. We also offer data investigations as necessary.

Elimination of duplicates in data uploads, ensuring your retailer list is clean, reducing the tasks required of your local users, and expediting the onboarding timeline.

Ongoing account maintenance, including making changes to account settings, adding new users, modifying user roles, and more.
Complete account management by Counter Tools staff, beneficial if you do not have the staff time to manage data in your software tool. This offering may include Data Management, Retail Management, Account / User Management, and more.

Software Tools

Our proprietary software tools help our partners gain a greater understanding of the retail environments in their communities and use that information to support policy change and education efforts.

The Store Audit Center (SAC) is used to collect and track data on what is being sold and marketed in point-of-sale environments such as gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores, vape shops, etc.


  • Customizable survey forms to collect data on tobacco products, food, alcohol, and other items that impact public health
  • Campaigns to organize and tracking of data collection efforts
  • Data export

The Store Mapper provides a customized, sophisticated visualization and GIS display of retail location data, health disparities, and ability to test policy solutions to allow our clients to target resources to areas of most need.


  • Retailer density visualization
  • Health disparity information
  • Policy tester to understand the impact of potential policies
  • Reports on retailer locations, inspection data and census and demographic information

The Point of Sale Toolkit (POST) combines the power of data collection and GIS visualization in an annual software as a service (SaaS) subscription.


  • Three out-of-the box survey forms for tobacco enforcement, education, and assessment
  • Mapping visualization of data collection efforts
  • Standard reports and infographics to further visualize and share information on your state’s retail point of sale landscape
  • Campaigns to organize and track data collection efforts
  • Cross-agency collaboration
  • Online and offline survey data collection on select mobile devices

Custom Solutions

Custom solutions for our technology services are always an option for handling your data. We are happy to work with you to develop solutions for your unique needs.

The Arizona Tobacco Enforcement System was created in 2015 for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to coordinate and implement its tobacco enforcement checks.

Advocacy Support

As an advocacy-support organization, Counter Tools takes public positions on policies, systems and environmental changes related to health equity and the social determinants of health. These public positions are consistent with Counter Tools’ mission, vision, and values, and are rooted in the best available evidence.

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We’re excited to help you reach your goals.