FDA Launches New Tobacco Prevention Campaign Aimed At Teens

Their teeth, their skin, and the freedom to do what they want. Teens don't think about the long-term health consequences of smoking, so instead, the FDA's first youth tobacco prevention campaign targets things teens do care about- their appearance, and their pride.

"It's definitely better to reach them now as kids cause most adult smokers started before they were 18. It gives you bad breath. It gives you yellow teeth. It does all these vanity kind of things too," said Angela Clock, Executive Director, Tobacco Free Michigan.

The $115 million dollar TV, radio, web and print campaign is paid for by fees collected from tobacco companies. It's a first for the FDA, which got the authority to regulate tobacco products back in 2009. The ads aim to encourage kids to put down the cigarettes, or better yet, never pick them up.

"Our youth are at risk. Every day, some 3,200 kids try smoking for the first time, and 700 kids go on to become committed smokers every day," said Dr. Margaret Hamburg - FDA Commissioner.

But Michigan tobacco prevention agencies say they're optimistic about this campaign because they've seen an increase in calls to the state's quit line, thanks to another campaign, this one by the CDC.

"We're definitely moving towards...it's not the normal thing to see when you're out in public. More people are outside doing it. You're not seeing it inside at restaurants. You're not seeing it inside at places most people go," said Clock.

And if this campaign works, we won't see it in places teens hang out, either. The campaign will debut on channels teens watch like MTV, and in magazines like Seventeen. They plan to run the ads for at least one year, maybe more depending on its success.


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