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FDA to launch anti-tobacco campaign

The FDA announced a national public education campaign Tuesday, to prevent youth tobacco use and reduce the number of kids who become regular smokers.

Launching Feb. 11, the $115 million “The Real Cost” campaign uses a comprehensive multimedia approach including television, radio, print, online and out-of-home advertising. Ads will run in more than 200 markets throughout the U.S. for at least 12 months.


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“The Real Cost” campaign is the FDA’s first of several planned tobacco education campaigns using the new authority granted under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

The campaign comes at a time when tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the U.S., causing more than 480,000 deaths each year. Each day, more than 3,200 youth in the U.S. try their first cigarette and more than 700 become daily smokers.

“The Real Cost” campaign targets the 10 million young people ages 12-17 who have never smoked a cigarette but are open to it, and youth who are already experimenting with cigarettes and are at risk of becoming regular smokers.

“The Real Cost” ads were developed to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco use and to encourage them to be tobacco-free. One approach in “The Real Cost” campaign dramatizes the health consequences of smoking by graphically depicting health consequences such as tooth loss and skin damage. The campaign was created by global marketing communication agency Draftfcb.

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