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."
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
- Assessing how effectively the messages reached the target audience and changing the messages if necessary
"What's a pack of smokes cost? Your smooth skin."
"Smoking causes wrinkles that age you prematurely. What are cigarettes costing you?"
So says FDA's first-ever national public education campaign to discourage youth tobacco use. The groundbreaking campaign, "The Real Cost” launched in February 2014 and continues to reach young people open to smoking or already experimenting with cigarettes in more than 200 markets across the country through TV, radio, print, digital, and out-of-home sites such as mall and theme park displays. In April 2016, “The Real Cost” expanded its campaign brand umbrella to include new advertising targeting rural male youth ages 12-17 at risk of smokeless tobacco use. The rural advertising will mainly air in targeted local markets. 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.
Are you a teen looking for The Real Cost?
"Setting sights on CEO OF INDEPENDENCE as my goal. So I reject cigarettes to regain control."
"I reject anything, including tobacco, that tries to control me."
Empowering words from FDA's first campaign to discourage multicultural teens—specifically African American, Hispanic, and Asian American/ Pacific Islander youth who identify with hip-hop—from using tobacco. "Fresh Empire" launched in May 2015 and will reach multicultural youth who identify with the hip-hop peer crowd in markets throughout the country through TV, radio, print, the web, social media, and local hip-hop events by the end of 2016. Understanding that tobacco use is often portrayed as a norm amongst the hip-hop peer crowd, the campaign talks with youth using aspirational messaging to convey that tobacco use is not a necessary part of the hip-hop lifestyle.
Are you a teen looking for Fresh Empire?
"Joy is on the horizon. Health and happiness—these are our new destinations. But a factor that seems casual to some in the community can get in our way. Like tobacco.”
With these words, FDA presents “This Free Life,” a public education campaign designed to prevent and reduce tobacco use among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young adults ages 18-24 in the United States. LGBT young adults are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as other young adults. “This Free Life” launched in May 2016 and uses print, digital, social media, outdoor signage and local events to reach the more than 800,000 occasional smokers in the LGBT community to help protect them from tobacco-related disease and prevent the loss of tens of thousands of LGBT lives to tobacco use each year.
The campaign uses authentic and credible messages from tobacco-free members of the LGBT community to challenge the perception that tobacco use is a necessary part of LGBT culture, and to show LGBT young adults they can be the person they want to be and still live tobacco free.
Are you an LGBT young adult looking for “This Free Life?”
Future Campaigns and Education Programs
Additional efforts are in development. These will target specific key audiences, including:
- Youth who are American Indian / Alaskan Native
- Tobacco users (to be implemented at tobacco point-of-sale)
- Tobacco product retailers