FDA launches 'The Real Cost' anti-smoking campaign aimed at teens

By Kyle Johnson,

The Food and Drug Administration has launched a new anti-smoking campaign aimed at showing teenagers "the real cost" of smoking, with some commercials even showing an anthropomorphic cigarette literally bullying kids.

CNN reports that "The Real Cost" campaign aims to show teens the real dangers involved in smoking. The FDA is aggressively promoting the "real cost" because many smokers, about nine out of 10, began before turning 18, according to FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg.

"We know from research that there is a group of youth -- 12 to 17 -- who are more vulnerable, partly because of the nature of their lives -- you know, chaotic lives, lots of stress, lack of control," Hamburg said.

The Los Angeles Times notes that the FDA and health groups are hoping the new bullying campaign will have success like the "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign.

The $54 million campaign was only on the air 12 weeks before it was reported that 100,000 smokers decided to quit because of the campaign.

One commercial shows a dude with greasy hair and shown to be about the equivalent size to a cigarette compared to teens bullying the kids for money or time to go outside and smoke, regardless of what the teen was previously doing.

image: Screenshot

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