FDA Launches Youth E-Cig Prevention Media Push

‘The Real Cost’ campaign targets young people via social platforms

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yet another step in a multipronged approach to prevent teens and young people from using electronic cigarettes.

Called “The Real Cost,” the youth e-cigarette prevention campaign will target approximately 11 million young people, ages 12 to 17, and will explain the dangers of e-cigarettes. The effort will focus on youth who have used e-cigarettes or are open to trying them, according to the FDA.

The campaign features advertising on digital and social-media sites, as well as placing posters with e-cigarette prevention messages in about 10,000 high schools across the nation. The ads will run on age-verified digital platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the campaign website.

“The FDA has a successful track record of using compelling, science-based public education campaigns to encourage kids to rethink their relationship with tobacco and is bringing the same approach to these new efforts to prevent youth use of e-cigarettes,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Public education is a critical component of our ongoing work to prevent youth use of tobacco products and complements our enforcement and regulatory efforts to protect kids.”

As part of the agency’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan and ongoing work to protect youth from the dangers of tobacco products, the FDA has publicly stated its focus on combatting the illegal sales of e-cigarettes to youth and “kid-friendly” marketing of these products.

That effort resulted recently in the FDA issuing about 1,300 warning letters and fines to U.S. retailers and notices of inquiry to manufacturers over minors obtaining and using e-cigarettes.

Photographs courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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