About FDA

Public Education Campaigns

CTP is investing in a number of public education campaigns to help educate the public – especially youth – about the dangers of regulated tobacco products. Rooted in science, these efforts are directly linked to FDA’s authority to regulate the marketing and sales of tobacco products.

We encourage public health advocates and other interested members of the public to engage with our campaigns through the information and materials found here.

"We have a responsibility…to reduce the death and disease toll from tobacco use.  That includes educating kids about the harms of tobacco use in an effective way, in a way that will reach them.”

Mitch Zeller
-- Mitch Zeller, Director, Center for Tobacco Products
Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2013

Achieving our mission to reduce tobacco-related death and disease requires a comprehensive, innovative approach. Most of our campaigns will focus on changing the attitudes and beliefs that lead young people to start smoking by developing messages and tactics through an evidence-based process that includes:

  • Identifying the problem to address;
  • Researching the target audience and the best way to reach them;
  • Testing messages and materials with the target audience;
  • Sharing the messages using a variety of media; and
  • Assessing how effectively the messages reached the target audience and changing the messages if necessary.

Current Campaigns

The Real Cost Campaign

“What’s a pack of smokes cost?  Your smooth skin.”

“Smoking causes wrinkles that age you prematurely.  What are cigarettes costing you?”

 CTP - The Real Cost Campaign Logo

So says FDA’s first-ever national public education campaign to discourage young people from smoking.  The groundbreaking campaign, “The Real Cost,” launched in February 2014 and continues to reach young people in more than 200 markets across the country through TV, radio, print, the web, social media, and out-of-home sites such as bus shelters.  Edgy, innovative, and featuring the young people it seeks to reach, the campaign talks with youth by focusing on the issues they really care about, like loss of control due to addiction and cosmetic health effects.  This campaign is the first of many campaigns targeting key audiences that we will launch in the next two years. 

Are you a teen looking for The Real Cost?

Future Campaigns and Education Programs

Additional efforts are in development. These will target specific key audiences, including: 

  • youth who are African-American, Hispanic, Asian / Pacific Islander, or American Indian / Alaskan Native;
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender young adults;
  • rural youth;
  • tobacco users (to be implemented at tobacco point-of-sale); and
  • tobacco product retailers.

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Page Last Updated: 03/02/2015
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