FDA Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign Includes Teen Stories About Addiction

(UNDATED) – In January, FDA’s “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign released videos featuring teenagers who share cautionary tales about their e-cigarette addiction. The campaign includes a series of four videos called “My Vaping Mistake” with teenagers describing the physical and emotional effects of vaping addiction.

Studies‎ have reported that youth who use a tobacco product, such as e-cigarettes, are more likely to go on to use other tobacco products, such as cigarettes. This evidence is particularly concerning given that over the past several years, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product by youth in the U.S. In fact, more than 5 million middle and high school students across the country were current (within the past 30 days) e-cigarette users in 2019, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“These new videos feature real stories from teens who have become addicted to e-cigarettes,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “These powerful narratives from youth show their peers the disastrous impact of e-cigarette addiction, like the teens who developed severe anxiety and depression after using e-cigarettes or the high school athlete who could no longer compete.”

“The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign educates youth that using e-cigarettes, just like cigarettes, puts them at risk for addiction and other health consequences. Since its launch in 2018, “The Real Cost” E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign is showing positive results for reach and engagement. The campaign, which originally focused on digital and social media sites popular among teens and has since expanded to TV advertisements, has generated significant viewership, including nearly 3.6 billion teen views in 16 months. Across social media platforms, FDA has engaged teen audiences with more than 950,00 likes, 130,000 shares and 50,000 comments.