FDA launches anti-smoking campaign for youth

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

The FDA is taking on smoking with a variety of posters, commercials, and billboards. They hope kids get the message and think twice before picking up a cigarette.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 3,200 kids under the age of 18 try their first cigarette each day. The government agency will be launching an anti-smoking campaign called “The Real Cost” to convince kids how dangerous tobacco really is for their health, especially their hair, skin, and teeth.

The FDA will be spreading their message through TV commercials, billboards, bus stops, and the radio. Viewers beware, though, because the ads sure aren’t pretty. In one series, a young woman is asked to pay extra for a box of cigarettes, and she does so by peeling the skin off her face! Yuck. In a similar version of that ad, a boy pulls out a tooth with a wrench to pay for his pack. Another commercial portrays cigarettes as bullies, to emphasize how controlling they can be over a person’s life.

That sounds like some pretty dramatic stuff, but the FDA really wants to drive the point home that cigarettes cost more than just money. Ideally, they’d like to stop all kids from trying cigarettes, but for now, their goal is to prevent at least 300,000 young smokers within 3 years.

Images courtesy of the FDA.