While some localities were able to fully utilize the resources provided on CounterTobacco.org, other communities needed more assistance. Counter Tools was born when Myers, Ribisl, and their team created two software tools, the Store Audit Center and the Store Mapper, enabling states and localities to collect, manage, visualize, and analyze tobacco retailer data that could show decision makers the need for change.
In June 2012, Counter Tools became a 501(c)(3), and what began as a North Carolina-based pilot expanded to include a broader geographical reach and more robust service offerings. While we maintain both CounterTobacco.org and our expertise in tobacco at the point of sale, we also focus on the impact the retail environment has on the health of the community as a whole, from assessing availability of healthy foods to enabling enforcement and compliance efforts. Our team has grown to include public health experts, policy makers, and data visionaries, all with the common vision of advancing place-based public health, starting with the retail environment.