FDA Expands Public Education Campaign to Encompass Prevention of Youth e-Cigarette Use

FDA Campaign Aims to Prevent Youth e-Cigarette Use

The agency hopes it can discourage the use of e-cirgarettes by young people.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a new public health education campaign aimed at the prevention of youth e-cigarette use. The agency plans to extend its "The Real Cost" public education campaign to include messaging to teens about the dangers of using e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) this fall while developing a full-scale campaign to launch in 2018.

The efforts are part of the agency's new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation, as well as ongoing efforts to educate youth about, and protect them from, the dangers associated with tobacco products. It will be the first time the FDA utilizes public health education to specifically target youth use of e-cigarettes.

"While we pursue a policy that focuses on addressing the role that nicotine plays in keeping smokers addicted to combustible cigarettes, and to help move those who cannot quit nicotine altogether onto less harmful products, we will also continue to work vigorously to keep all tobacco products out of the hands of kids," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, M.D., in a news release. "Educating youth about the dangers of tobacco products has been a cornerstone of our efforts to reduce the harms caused by these products. Including e-cigarettes and other ENDS products in our prevention work not only makes sense, it reflects the troubling reality that they are the most commonly-used tobacco product among youth."

The campaign will include videos to educate kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes with messaging that will explain the potential for nicotine to rewire a teen's brain and create cravings that can lead to addiction. 

The expansion of the public health campaign comes as the agency recently announced plans to put nicotine and the issue of addiction at the center of its efforts. The policy aims to strike a careful balance between the regulation of all tobacco products, and the opportunity to encourage development of innovative tobacco products that may be less combustible.

 

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