FDA Launches Youth E-Cig Prevention Campaign

The comprehensive initiative aims to educate kids about the dangers of vaping.

September 19, 2018

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched “The Real Cost,” a new campaign designed to prevent minors from using e-cigarettes. The campaign targets nearly 10.7 million youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who have used e-cigarettes or are open to trying them. The effort features hard-hitting advertising on digital and social media sites popular among teens, as well as posters with e-cigarette prevention messages in high schools across the nation.

“E-cigarettes have become an almost ubiquitous—and dangerous—trend among youth that we believe has reached epidemic proportions,” said FDA commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, in a press release. “This troubling reality is prompting us to take even more forceful actions to stem this dangerous trend, including revisiting our compliance policy that extended the compliance dates for manufacturers of certain e-cigarettes, including flavored e-cigarettes, to submit applications for premarket authorization.”

The agency said that for the past several years, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product by youth, with more than 2 million middle and high school students using e-cigarettes in 2017.

With its tagline of “Know the Real Cost of Vaping,” the campaign aims to educate youth that using e-cigarettes, just like cigarettes, puts them at risk for addiction and other health consequences. This new campaign is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to prevent disease and death caused by tobacco use and will complement the agency's other youth tobacco prevention campaigns.

NACS is a founding member of We Card program, which provides resources to retailers that help prevent tobacco and e-cigarette sales to minors. For the new 2019 We Card in-store materials, including tools and training programs, visit www.wecard.org.