The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new campaign on the dangers of smokeless tobacco among rural teens, expanding its “The Real Cost” campaign “to educate rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use.”
The FDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study found that 31.84 percent of rural, white males ages 12 to 17 — about 629,000 total youths — either experiment with smokeless tobacco or are at-risk.
The central message in “The Real Cost” Smokeless Tobacco Prevention Campaign is “smokeless doesn’t mean harmless,” which aims to motivate these teenagers to reconsider what they think they know about smokeless tobacco use.
“For the first time, messages on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use — including nicotine addiction, gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple kinds of cancer — are being highlighted through the placement of advertisements in 35 U.S. markets specifically selected to reach the campaign’s target audience,” according to a news release from the FDA.
“The Real Cost” campaign launched nationally in February 2014 across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print, digital, and out-of-home sites. It currently airs in 35 markets, including Lexington and Paducah in Kentucky.