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.