The US Food and Drug Administration is broadening the reach of its The Real Cost campaign aimed at preventing rural-based teenagers from using smokeless tobacco.
According to a note issued through its Center for Tobacco Products, the FDA said the campaign had ‘educated nearly 600,000 rural male teens on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use – including loss of control, gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple kinds of cancer’. ‘The campaign, which launched in 35 rural markets around the United States in 2016, will now have ads placed in 20 states across the country, ultimately reaching nearly three million youth,’ the note said.
‘Smokeless tobacco includes different types of products, such as dip, chew, snus and types of tobacco that dissolve when placed in the mouth.
‘According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, each day in the US more than 950 males under the age of 18 use smokeless tobacco for the first time, making early intervention critical.
‘The decision to expand the campaign to states comes after preliminary evaluation data shows that the campaign is effectively reaching and influencing changes in attitudes and beliefs in rural, male teenagers, ultimately reducing their odds of smokeless tobacco use.
‘At the state level, advertisements will run on digital platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, and display banners on relevant web sites, as well as at localized events and locations such as Little League Baseball games.
‘The Real Cost Smokeless Tobacco Prevention Campaign is part of FDA’s ongoing efforts to prevent disease and death caused by tobacco use and complements the agency’s other youth tobacco prevention campaigns. FDA launched The Real Cost Smoking Prevention Campaign in February 2014; Fresh Empire, a multicultural tobacco prevention campaign in October 2015; and The Real Cost Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign in September 2018.’
More information about US public health education campaigns is available here.