project brief

Launched in August 2011, CounterTobacco.Org is the first comprehensive resource for local, state, and federal organizations working to counteract tobacco product sales and marketing at the point of sale (POS). 

Topic area(s): Tobacco Cessation 


The broad goal of is to maintain and develop new content for a comprehensive online resource to assess and counteract tobacco product availability and marketing in the retail environment in order to further local, state and federal POS policy change. Counter Tobacco’s specific aims are to: maintain and expand the point of sale tobacco control resources on; provide training and technical assistance to tobacco control practitioners about POS resources on; and evaluate site content, usability, and reach to ensure the site meets the needs of practitioners.


Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, resulting in nearly 480,000 deaths each year. Tobacco companies spend the overwhelming majority of their annual marketing budget at the point of sale (POS) level.  Exposure to POS advertising and promotions has been found to prompt smoking initiation in youth, encourage tobacco use, and undermine quit attempts. The 2012 Surgeon General’s Report concluded that advertising and promotional activities by the tobacco industry “cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.” However, until fairly recently, the sales and marketing of tobacco products at the POS has been relatively unregulated. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), signed into law in June 2009, gave new authority to states and communities to implement additional restrictions on tobacco sales and advertising at the POS. Many, if not most, policies face industry opposition or legal challenges. Given this litigious and hostile environment, Counter Tobacco aims to provide states and communities access to a comprehensive POS control resource hub to help them overcome industry opposition and craft effective policy solutions that can withstand the inevitable legal challenges. 


Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute

Dates of Funding:


Principal Investigator – Kurt M. Ribisl, PhD

E-mail –