FDA continues to educate youth about dangers of vaping
SILVER SPRING, Md., U.S.: It was almost a year ago that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initiated “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign to educate at-risk youth about the harmful effects of electronic cigarettes through advertising on television and the Internet and nationwide anti-smoking poster distribution. As the campaign is about to reach its first anniversary, the FDA has launched its first youth e-cigarette prevention TV advertisements and is planning to provide educational materials and newly made posters for schools across the U.S.
According to the FDA, e-cigarette use has increased by 78% among high school students, rising from 11.7% in 2017 to 20.8% in 2018, and has increased by 48% among middle school students, increasing from 3.3% in 2017 to 4.9% in 2018. This is particularly troubling, as e-cigarette use can lead to nicotine dependence and can have serious oral and general health consequences.
The campaign was launched in September 2018 and targeted nearly 10.7 million youth between 12 and 17 years old who had used e-cigarettes or who were thinking about using them in the future. The new TV advertisements and school resources, which will convey anti-smoking public health messages, are planned to help maintain people’s previous involvement in the campaign and to strongly warn children and youth against nicotine use.
“The troubling epidemic of youth vaping threatens to erase the years of progress we’ve made combating tobacco use among kids, and it’s imperative that our work to tackle this immensely concerning trend continue to include efforts to educate our nation’s youth about the dangers of these products. The new ads as part of our youth prevention campaign highlight one of the many alarming aspects of youth e-cigarette use—that, according to emerging science, teens who vape are more likely to start smoking cigarettes, putting them at risk of a lifetime of addiction to smoking and related disease,” said Dr. Norman Sharpless, acting Commissioner of the FDA and Director of the National Cancer Institute, in an FDA news release.
“We cannot allow the next generation of young people to become addicted to nicotine. We will continue to work to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of America’s kids through policies to limit youth access to, and appeal of, e-cigarette products, take vigorous compliance and enforcement actions to hold manufacturers and retailers accountable when they illegally market or sell these products to minors, and continue to spearhead highly successful public education efforts to warn youth about the dangers of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes,” he continued.
More information about the campaign can be found on the FDA website.