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FDA launches first advertising campaign aimed at rural youth about dangers of smokeless tobacco

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a campaign Wednesday on the dangers of smokeless tobacco among rural teens.

FDA is expanding its “The Real Cost” campaign “to educate rural, white male teenagers about the negative health consequences associated with smokeless tobacco use,” it says.

“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.”


FDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study found that 31.84 percent of rural, white males ages 12 to 17 — 629,000 total youths — either experiment with smokeless tobacco or are at-risk, says FDA.

“According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, each day in the U.S. nearly 1,000 males under the age of 18 use smokeless tobacco for the first time—almost as many male teenagers who smoke their first cigarette—making early intervention critical and highlighting a need for targeted youth smokeless tobacco prevention.”

The campaign will be conducted through advertisements on television, radio, print, public signs, billboards, the internet and social media, says FDA.

The agency is also partnering with Minor League Baseball teams, with stadiums promoting tobacco-free lifestyles “by displaying campaign advertising and providing opportunities for fans to meet and interact with players who support the campaign’s public health messages.”

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From Kentucky Health News

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