50,000 Visitors

Licensing, Policy Advocacy, Youth

We are so excited to announce that CounterTobacco.org has now been visited 50,000by 50,000 different people across the United States and the globe!

It is fantastic to have so many people working to counter tobacco marketing at the point of sale and fighting the “War in the Store” with us.

Combined, these visitors have…

  • viewed the website 76,339 times
  • visited 196,971 pages
  • come from all 50 states + D.C., and even from 173 different countries!

Find more stats on what the top content on CounterTobaco.org was on the day of our 50,000th visitor and CounterTobacco.org’s  top viewed and downloaded content of all-time in our latest newsletter.

In honor of this momentous event, we selected three of our newest newsletter subscribers to highlight on our website:

Debra Levi, Community Health Education Specialist, Mohave County Department of Public Health

DebraLevi_MohaveCountyIn her position at the Mohave County, Arizona  Department of Public Health in their Tobacco Use and Chronic Disease Prevention Program, Debra Levi works with a youth group called Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) in Lake Havasu City.

The group is currently working on getting parks in the city to go smoke-free, and Levi is also working with a local community-college to do the same. The youth group also works with the Arizona Attorney General’s office and the FDA to complete compliance checks at local tobacco retailers.

Levi began her position in Mohave County, AZ this past June. She previously worked on tobacco policy in the Los Angeles area on Tobacco Retailer Licensing.

Veronica Johnson, Communications Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy

VJ-300x400Located at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Institute for Health Research and Policy(IHRP) is the campus incubator for multi-disciplinary research institute addressing the leading causes of chronic disease, premature death, and health disparities in the U.S., especially by increasing health-promoting behaviors. Among their tobacco control research projects are: the ongoing longitudinal study on smoking behavior led by Dr. Robin Mermelstein of smoking patterns among adolescents as they progress through high school and into young adulthood, Dr. Sherry Emery’s Health Media Collaboratory, which examines the effects of advertising, marketing and social media on smoking behaviors (our own co-founder Dr. Kurt Ribisl is also an investigator on one of their studies!), Dr. Frank Chalupa’s Tobacconomics research, which looks at the effects of tobacco taxes and pricing on its use, and more.

The IHRP is focused on using policy to improve health behavior and the health of communities. As Johnson said, “All researchers need to work hard to get science-based information to policymakers, to those who want to make effective change in communities.” CounterTobacco.org helps provide the information that policymakers need.

Johnson said that they also love CounterTobacco.org’s media gallery and have used images from it on their blog (see example) and in their IHRP newsletter. “Pictures speak a thousand words, especially with growing use of technology and social media,” she said. The IHRP also helps fund the Illinois Prevention Research Center, currently in its second year. While Chicago is on the forefront of many POS tobacco control trends with their ordinance restricting the sale of flavored tobacco (including menthol) within 500ft of schools, many small towns and counties across the state still need additional tools like the ones CounterTobacco.org offers to be able to push similar policies forward.

Rachel Freeman, Tobacco Control Program Supervisor, Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment

PACT Youth AdvocatesRachel Freeman is currently working on a tobacco retailer licensing campaign in the city of Greeley, Colorado, and she also does a lot of work on preventing and reducing youth access to tobacco. In Greeley, there is an active youth coalition that has been a partner in the retailer licensing campaign, called Preventing Addition Caused by Tobacco (PACT) Youth Advocates. Freeman also works with the Tobacco Free Coalition of Weld County. In addition to point of sale work, their tobacco control program also works on systems change for cessation, and working with schools to strengthen their tobacco-free policies and to de-normalize tobacco use on school grounds.

Freeman and her team have used CounterTobacco.org primarily for their work in youth access work and licensing. They have used many of the information and fact sheets hosted on the site to guide and inform their work, and have used the information on licensing and zoning policies to inform what they are currently developing for their licensing campaign in Greeley. In addition, the PACT Youth Advocates have used CounterTobacco.org’s “POS Scavenger Hunt” to collect some local data and give them a good baseline on what the tobacco retail environment looks like in Greely. This helps them educate decision-makers on the problem – on what the corner store next to the high school looks like, for example. “It’s nice to have a lot of current data in one place to pull from to inform some of our fact sheet development, ” said Freeman. They also use tools from CounterTobacco.org’s sister organization, Counter Tools, to conduct tobacco retailer audits with both their youth and community coalitions. They have then presented the data collected from the audits data to city council members, who Freeman says “have been shocked.” It’s opened their eyes to the wide variety of flavors of tobacco products in stores today and to the low cost of tobacco currently in Colorado as well.

Thanks to all of our users! Have feedback, questions, or something you’d like to see on the site? Send us a note atinfo@countertobacco.org.