FDA Launches New Campaign to Deter Use of E-Cigarettes Among Teens

Oct. 8, 2018, 1:35 a.m. ·

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched “The Real Cost” youth e-cigarette prevention campaign in an effort to educate teens about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

Research shows teens often believe using e-cigarettes has no health risks due to the lack of tobacco. Nicotine and other chemicals found in e-cigarettes are still harmful to one’s health.

The FDA says e-cigarette users are at an increased risk of heart attacks and lung disease.

The FDA believes teen usage of e-cigarettes is reaching epidemic proportions. About 2.1 million middle school and high school students reported having used an e-cigarette in 2017, and that number is expected to rise for 2018.

Results from a study conducted in 2017 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that roughly 11.7 percent of high school students nationally used an e-cigarette. That number is around 9 percent for Nebraska.

In addition to the FDA’s campaign, Nebraska is taking its own stand against e-cigarette usage among teens.

Christina Hitz, a public health educator with the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department, said local efforts have had great support.

“So I’m really happy about the community’s interest in the topic, and their engagement. I don’t think our community wants to see a new generation of young people addicted to a nicotine product, and so we’re actually working on our own public service announcement product as well,” Hitz said.

When looking at the future of the use of e-cigarettes among teens, Hitz said the early countermeasures put in place for this issue will prove to be better than previous counters on tobacco products.

“We’re earlier and so I think we have more chance of success at slowing the tide of what the FDA is calling an epidemic of e-cigarette use,” Hitz said. "So I do have hope that it will not be a new generation of people addicted to a nicotine product.”

Details about the “Real Cost” campaign can be found on the FDA website.