News / USA

US FDA Launching Major Anti-tobacco Campaign Aimed at Youth

FILE - Cigarette packs are displayed at a smoke shop in New York.
FILE - Cigarette packs are displayed at a smoke shop in New York.
A major new anti-tobacco campaign will be launched in the United States next week aimed at vulnerable teenagers at risk of becoming addicted to cigarettes.
The $115 million campaign by the Food and Drug Administration will target the 10 million people aged 12 to 17 who are open to trying cigarettes or who are already experimenting with them and are in danger of becoming regular smokers, the FDA said.
The campaign is the first of several scheduled to be launched over the next two years that will target at risk, rural, gay, African American, and American Indian youth.
The goal of the campaigns is to reduce the number of youth cigarette smokers by at least 300,000 within three years, the FDA said. The first, called “The Real Cost” campaign, will launch on Feb. 11 and targets marginalized youngsters who may be starting to turn to tobacco as a way of coping with poor or stressful lives, Mitch Zeller, head of the FDA's tobacco products division, said at a media briefing on Monday.
The ads will appear in print and on TV and radio as well as on billboards and at bus stops, addressing typical teenage issues such as concerns with appearance and the desire to strike out and become independent.
One series of ads features a bully who demands money. A print ad shows a small, greasy-haired bully standing inside a school locker yelling, “Outside Now, Punk.” The tag line says: “You wouldn't take it from a tiny bully, but when you're hooked on tobacco, you're taking it from a cigarette.”
Another series of ads focuses on the cosmetic damage cigarettes can cause, especially to the skin and teeth.
In one TV ad a young girl goes into a convenience store to buy a packet of cigarettes. She hands over the money but the clerk says “it's not enough.” The girl reaches up and peels a large piece of skin off her face and slides it across the counter.
In a similar ad a young man asks for a packet of menthol cigarettes. When told by the clerk that the money is not enough he takes a wrench, pulls out one of his teeth, and hands that over too.
The ads, which were created by the advertising agency DraftFCB, a unit of Interpublic Group have been rigorously tested with the target audience, Zeller said, adding that he is “very optimistic” they will achieve the desired results of turning some kids away from smoking.
To judge whether campaign is successful, the FDA plans to monitor 8,000 young people over two years to measure changes in attitudes toward tobacco and on behavior before and after the campaign's launch.
Each day, more than 3,200 people under the age of 18 try their first cigarette and more than 700 become daily smokers, the FDA said.
Ninety percent of adult smokers start smoking before the age of 18, “which is why early intervention is so critical,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said at the briefing.
The campaigns are expected to cost $400 million altogether. They are being funded with fees paid to the FDA by the tobacco industry under a 2009 law that gives the FDA authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll your own tobacco.
The agency is expected shortly to extend its regulatory authority to electronic cigarettes and cigars. The proposed regulations are currently being reviewed by the White House's Office of Management and Budget.

You May Like

Video In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs