The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its first TV ads aimed at preventing e-cigarette use among young consumers.
The effort is part of the FDA’s “The Real Cost” youth e-cigarette prevention campaign, a $60 million initiative that launched in 2018 through social media, digital content and posters at high schools nationwide. The campaign aims to reach almost 10.7 million students ages 12 to 17.
The ads show street magician Julius Dein performing illusions with people’s e-cigarettes, appearing to turn them into traditional cigarettes. The FDA said they will run on networks including TeenNick, the CW, MTV and ESPN, in addition to streaming and social media sites.
“As our new ads state: ‘it’s not magic, it’s statistics,’ ” Ned Sharpless, FDA acting commissioner, said in a statement. “And the potential for kids to become traditional cigarette smokers because of e-cigarettes gives me great pause.”
The FDA said its vaping-focused digital campaign has almost 2 billion views by teens and hundreds of thousands of likes on social media, resulting in increased traffic to Smokefree Teen, a quitting resource from the National Cancer Institute.
“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,” said Sharpless.