Counter Tobacco’s 5th Annual Photo Contest is Here!


The tobacco industry spends $1 million every hour to market their deadly products, a total which amounted to $8.6 billion spent at the point of sale in 2013. The Surgeon General has concluded that exposure to this retail marketing encourages smoking and undermines quit attempts. And it’s happening in YOUR community.

Now is your chance to help document and expose the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics at the point-of-sale….AND you could win bragging rights and a swanky prize pack in the process!

  • Work with youth? Get them involved!
  • Conducting store assessments? Bring your camera along!
  • Create a competition within your organization or workplace!

Just grab your camera (your smart phone camera works just fine) and start snapping great pics today!


Contest Categories:

  • Greatest Youth Appeal: Spotted a tobacco product near candy or another child-friendly item? Discovered a tobacco advertisement near a carousel or a child-friendly mascot? Send the image our way!
  • Electronic Smoking Products and Vape Shops: E-cigarettes are growing in popularity and tobacco companies have been launching and promoting new e-cigarette brands across the globe such as Vuse and MarkTen. Electronic smoking products come in various forms, including vape-pens, e-hookah, tank models, and disposables and with various refill options including cartridges, e-liquids, and more. There are now more than 15,000 vape shops across the country. Help us capture this emerging and evolving product so advocates can stay on the cutting edge!
  • Stores near Schools: Research has shown that there is an increased smoking prevalence among schools located in neighborhoods that have the highest tobacco retailer density compared schools located in neighborhoods without any tobacco retailers. A tough photo to take but be creative! Panorama anyone? Or try photographing tobacco advertisements next to signs that indicate that a school is in the area.
  • Best Map or Infographic: Infographics and maps are valuable tools that use images to graphically display dense information. Send us infographics or maps that illustrate how the tobacco industry strategically targets different groups with its marketing.
  • Most Ironic: Did they just put that tobacco advertisement next to …? I think they did! Sometimes the placement of tobacco advertisements next to other items or advertisements can result in some serious irony! Grab snapshots of tobacco advertisements placed next to an unlikely companion advertisement.
  • Novel Products: The tobacco product landscape has greatly changed over the years and tobacco offerings now include a host of smokeless products such as snus. Keep a look out for Phillip Morris’ iQOS, RJ Reynolds’ “Revo” and other “heat-not-burn’ products. If you come across any of these new products or others- take a photo!
  • Flavored Tobacco Products: Flavors are everywhere! From e-cigarettes to cigarillos to smokeless products, tobacco companies are creating more flavors constantly. Show us the craziest flavor or the greatest array of flavored tobacco products you’ve seen for sale. Keep a look out for the use of colors as flavors (e.g. “blue,” “green,” “black”) or other flavors such as “Jazz,” “Golden,” and “Royale.”
  • Cheap Tobacco Products: We want to see who can find the cheapest pack of cigarettes and the cheapest single cigar!  The tobacco industry uses price discounts to target price sensitive customers, including youth. From little cigars and cigarillos that cost less than a dollar to steep discounts on cigarettes and BOGO offers on smokeless products, the tobacco industry has many tactics they use to sell cheap tobacco. Show us what cheap tobacco products or price discounting strategies you see in your community! If possible, include the price of the product in the image. Keep an eye out for Japan Tobacco’s LD Cigarettes.

Both winning and non-winning images that meet eligibility requirements will be permanently housed in Counter Tobacco’s image gallery. The image gallery serves as a resource for tobacco control advocates and practitioners seeking to regulate tobacco marketing at the point of sale. These images help to both educate and influence decision makers to regulate tobacco POS marketing tactics which have been shown to encourage smoking initiation among youth, undermine quit attempts, and encourage the continued consumption of tobacco products.

Find full contest rules and FAQs here.

Looking for inspiration? See our winners from 2012 , 2013 , 2014, and 2015


Grand Prize Winner from our 2015 Photo Contest

Submitted by Nicole S. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL 

Rates of tobacco use are higher in the military than in the civilian population, which can reduce readiness and cause adverse health outcomes. In 2011, 12.8% of all military personnel used smokeless tobacco products like snus compared to 3.2% of the general population. Learn more. is a project of Counter Tools. Counter Tools (logo)
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