FDA Targets Teens with the “Real Cost” of Tobacco Use

One of the most compelling ways to prevent youth tobacco use may be through their teeth, reports UPI.

“The Real Cost,” a new, national public education campaign of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) targets the approximately 10 million 12- to 17-year olds with messages about the health consequences of tobacco use.

In their announcement, the FDA said, “Educating teens about the harms of tobacco use in a way that is personally relevant to them can be difficult, especially since many teens believe they won’t get addicted and the long-term health consequences of smoking don’t apply to them.”

The American Dental Association (ADA) added that these “costs” include tooth loss and skin damage, cosmetic health effects that do, in fact, resonate with teens.

They also identified other short-term consequences of tobacco use that may be effective approaches to reducing youth tobacco use, including seeing what a smoker’s smile could look like and how smoking cigarettes can cause yellow teeth and bad breath.

The ADA is supportive of FDA regulation of all tobacco products as authorized by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act and its National Action Plan for Tobacco Cessation supports the “an ongoing, extensive paid media campaign to help Americans quit using tobacco.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this month also unveiled its latest anti-smoking campaign, which features real people talking about smoking in tough and often frightening terms. The ads show the suffering caused by cigarettes from asthma, cancer, heart attack, and amputations.

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