For much of 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken up issue with e-cigarettes and the role they play in the lives of America’s youth. After issuing a series of warning letters and citations to retailers over youth accessibility to e-cigarettes and calling on manufacturers like JUUL to submit plans to address this growing ‘epidemic’ [read more here], the FDA now has launched a new campaign to curb e-cigarette use in the form of a new prevention campaign it is calling “The Real Cost”.
This new campaign was designed to target nearly 10.7 million at-risk youth, aged 12-17, through digital platforms, social media and in-school ads nationwide. This campaign targets youth who are open to trying e-cigarettes. This cigar has the support of the U.S. Health & Human Services agency led by Alex Azar, who commented: “HHS is committed to comprehensive efforts to protect America’s youth from the dangers of using any tobacco or nicotine-containing products. We congratulate the FDA on the launch of this new, hard-hitting campaign about the risk of addiction and other health consequences that can result from youth using e-cigarettes.”
“Know the Real Cost of Vaping” will be a campaign that will run on age-verified digital platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and Pandora. There will be posters placed in over 10,000 high school bathrooms and materials distributed for students and educators in collaboration with the Scholastic and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). The campaign aims to educate teens that e-cigarette use comes with the risk of nicotine addiction, just as they would experience with using traditional cigarettes. It also will educate teens on the harmful chemicals found in e-cigarettes like formaldehyde, acrolein, and toxic metal particles chromium, lead and nickel.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., released his own statement about the new campaign but more telling was some of the language used, indicating the FDA may be preparing to take a harder stance on e-cigarettes with some business-killing measures.