UNITED STATES – According to an online article published by www.cbsnews.com, the FDA has launched a television advertisement campaign featuring a magician to fight the e-cigarette epidemic.
As e-cigarettes become increasingly popular, especially among teenagers and young adults, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken steps to crack down on e-cigarette advertising that portrays e-cigarettes as safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes are appealing to many users as they are small, easy to hide, and do not produce smoke.
In a massive effort to curb teen e-cigarette use (i.e., vaping), the FDA has spent $60 million on a television ad campaign called “The Real Cost.” The television advertisements feature magician Julius Dein who uses tricks to educate teenagers about the dangers and consequences of vaping.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1 in 5 high school students and almost 1 in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes. For high school students, the use in e-cigarettes has increased by 78% from 2017 to 2018. Medical experts say that teenagers do not fully understand the risks of vaping and that one significant risk is transitioning to traditional tobacco cigarettes. In most cases, teenagers do not smoke cigarettes before beginning to vape and do not realize the addictive nature of nicotine.
While some e-cigarette manufacturers state that e-cigarettes were never intended for teenagers, there are enticing flavors available that attract the younger population, such as strawberry lemonade and mango. Many people believe that the creation and sale of flavored e-cigarettes is certainly a marketing tactic to get more teenagers to begin vaping.
The FDA’s recent ad campaign is one step to tackle the e-cigarette and vaping epidemic. However, many parent groups and advocacy groups do not believe the FDA has done enough, but rather has “talked a good game.” As such, these groups are pushing the FDA to do more to crack down on teenage vaping.
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