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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

The Real Cost Campaign


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Every day in the United States, more than 3,200 youth under age 18 smoke their first cigarette —and more than 700 youth under age 18 become daily smokers—highlighting a critical need for stronger, targeted youth tobacco prevention efforts.4 To combat this critical issue, FDA’s first youth tobacco prevention campaign, “The Real Cost,” targets at-risk youth aged 12-17 who are open to smoking or already experimenting with cigarettes. For more information about the campaign, visit our Overview Factsheet.


Campaign messages highlight consequences that youth are concerned about, such as cosmetic health effects and loss of control due to addiction. Take a look at our current ads.