For many, the concept of “vaping” seems a lot more harmless than substance abuse or even smoking. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (aka the FDA) feels very differently and has launched an aggressive awareness campaign to steer young people away from e-cigarettes.
Based on their research, nearly 11 million Americans aged 12-17 have tried vaping at least once and a good portion of them have now become addicted. The fear is, that this type of habit can escalate into future dependencies; specifically involving drugs or alcohol.
One common misconception about vaping is that it is much less harmful than traditional smoking. But the facts of the matter are, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine and substances that are harmful for the body.
Besides the peer pressure and so-called “cool factor” these e-cigs represent, the FDA believes that the allure of tasty flavors and packaging also play a role.
“E-cigarettes have become an almost ubiquitous – and dangerous – trend among youth that we believe has reached epidemic proportions,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb M.D. said in a statement. “Based on our evidence, we believe the presence of flavors is one component making these products especially attractive to kids. The mandate to reverse this trend in youth addiction to nicotine is one of my highest priorities.”
The PSA’s are working to address all of those issues and then some. Titled “Know The Real Cost of Vaping,” the messages are being released in video form for YouTube and with galleries and radio reads better suited for Facebook, Twitter and Pandora. They also include a warning about the chemicals that e-cigarettes contain, such as acrolein, formaldehyde and chromium (which have been known to cause cancer).
Additionally, “The Real Cost” has a highly engaging website that was launched as part of the campaign. Clearly aimed at the teenage set, it’s got a variety of bold stats highlighting the dangers of vaping. There are also shareable quizzes, visual memes and even a video game that illustrates the damage that e-cigs can have on the brain.
Of course, the biggest highlight is the video page. Over two million web users have watched the series of “Real Cost” clips, which include some creative and impactful messaging.
We definitely agree that this is a campaign worth spreading and encourage everyone to talk to teenage friends and loved ones about this issue. Take a look at one of videos below for the full impact.