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.
    Reuters
    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 Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.