Look at the FDA’s First-Ever Campaign Against Youth Tobacco Use

Every day, more than 3,200 Americans under age 18 try their first cigarette, and more than 700 become regular smokers.

National Journal
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Clara Ritger
Feb. 4, 2014, 5:11 a.m.

The Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion is launch­ing a new cam­paign against youth to­bacco use.

“The Real Cost” ad­vert­ise­ments graph­ic­ally de­pict the health con­sequences of smoking, such as tooth loss and skin dam­age.

To­bacco use is the lead­ing pre­vent­able cause of dis­ease, death, and dis­ab­il­ity in the U.S. Every day, more than 3,200 Amer­ic­ans un­der age 18 try their first ci­gar­ette, and more than 700 be­come reg­u­lar smokers.


The FDA is tar­get­ing its ef­forts to­ward the 10 mil­lion Amer­ic­ans ages 12 to 17 who have nev­er smoked a ci­gar­ette but are open to it.

“We know that early in­ter­ven­tion is crit­ic­al, with al­most nine out of every 10 reg­u­lar adult smokers pick­ing up their first ci­gar­ette by age 18,” said FDA Com­mis­sion­er Mar­garet A. Ham­burg in a press re­lease. “Today marks a his­tor­ic mo­ment as we launch the FDA’s first-ever na­tion­al edu­ca­tion cam­paign to pre­vent to­bacco use among our na­tion’s youth, and we bring to life the real costs that are of the most con­cern to young people.”

The me­dia buy is fun­ded by the Fam­ily Smoking Pre­ven­tion and To­bacco Con­trol Act, signed in­to law by Pres­id­ent Obama in 2009.

The year­long, $115 mil­lion ad cam­paign will air on tele­vi­sion, ra­dio, print, and on­line start­ing Feb. 11.


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