Teenagers are feeling the effects of nicotine addiction and the Food and Drug Administration is helping them tell their cautionary stories.
In its latest ads for the ongoing youth vaping prevention campaign The Real Cost, the FDA featured stories of real teens talking about their e-cigarette addiction. Some teens talked about how addiction affected their mental health, like causing increased anxiety, while others talked about how vaping affected their sports performance, relationships and goals.
“These powerful narratives from youth show their peers the disastrous impact of e-cigarette addiction, like the teens who developed severe anxiety and depression after using e-cigarettes or the high school athlete who could no longer compete,” FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement.
The new ads were released by The Real Cost and AwesomenessTV, a teen-focused YouTube channel.
The Real Cost e-cigarette campaign launched in 2017. Last summer, the campaign aired its first ads on TV, focusing on shows and channels that teens watch. Those ads featured street magician Julius Dein stopping teens on the street to show them that vaping can lead to smoking cigarettes.
The campaign also has elements focused on traditional cigarettes, chewing tobacco and hookah. The FDA said the e-cigarette campaign ads have been seen by more than two billion teens since 2017.
“We are working tirelessly to tackle this concerning trend, including through our recently released compliance policy focusing on, among other priorities, unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes most popular with youth,” Hahn’s statement continued. “We also know it is imperative to continue to educate our nation’s youth about the dangers of these products, so they can make the smart, well-informed choice to not use these products.”