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A new public health campaign will include advertisements on television, social media and music streaming sites, as well as school posters; all focused on preventing teens from vaping or developing addictions to e-cigarrettes, such as JUUL.
The FDA announced the launch of the new teen vaping prevention program in a press release this week. The new program, “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign, comes a year after the FDA’s initial public education campaign launched in 2018.
“The troubling epidemic of youth vaping threatens to erase the years of progress we’ve made combating tobacco use among kids, and it’s imperative that our work to tackle this immensely concerning trend continue to include efforts to educate our nation’s youth about the dangers of these products,” the press release states. “The new ads as part of our youth prevention campaign highlight one of the many alarming aspects of youth e-cigarette use ‒ that, according to emerging science, teens who vape are more likely to start smoking cigarettes, putting them at risk of a lifetime of addiction to smoking and related disease.”
The goal of the new campaign is to reach 10.7 million at-risk youth through TV, digital platforms, social medial, in-school ads and posters nationwide. It includes new educational resources, such as posters for middle and high school bathrooms, places where teens often face peer pressure to vape. The program also includes e-cigarette prevention TV ads and ads across digital platforms.
An increasing number of teens have tried e-cigarettes in recent years. An estimated 3.6 million middle and high school students across the country were current e-cigarette users in 2018; a significant increase from 1.5 million the year before. E-cigarettes have quickly become the most popular from of tobacco for teens in the U.S.
The ads will run on TV networks like TeenNick, CW, ESPN and MTV. There will also be digital ads on music streaming sites, like Spotify, and social media networks like SnapChat, as well as other teen digital platforms.
Ads will also include information from recent studies indicating e-cigarettes expose users to toxic levels of carcinogenic chemicals, like acrolein and benzene.
Since the initial campaign was launched in 2018, the ads have generated 2 billion teen views in 9.5 months and lead to more than a half million shares and 90,000 likes.
One of the main goals is to drive teens who want to quit vaping to teen.SmokeFree.gov. Health officials estimate the program has helped prevent more than 350,000 teens from using e-cigarettes.
The move comes amid increasing concerns about the teen vaping addiction epidemic, and a growing number of JUUL lawsuits that allege the manufacturer has targeted teens and young adults with their product, while failing to warn about the health risks.