February 5, 2019
“As we face a nationwide epidemic of teen e-cigarette use, one of the critical ways the FDA can work to curb this trend is by continuing to educate young people, parents of teenagers, pediatricians, and educators about the dangers of youth vaping. We’ve heard from many schools across the country requesting copies of the posters that we distributed to more than 10,000 high schools following last fall’s launch of ‘The Real Cost’ Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign. Working with Scholastic, we’re now able to ensure every high school across the country has the option to hang the posters with hard-hitting prevention messages in their bathrooms – a place we know many teens are using e-cigarettes or faced with the peer pressure to do so,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We recognize that youth e-cigarette prevention messaging is not just needed in high schools. That’s why we’ve also developed new posters for use by state and local stakeholders in other prominent locations where youth and parents frequent, such as churches, doctors’ offices and other school environments, that address some of the dangerous chemicals youth can be exposed to when using e-cigarettes. Public education will be and always has been a cornerstone of our efforts to protect youth since the agency launched its first tobacco prevention campaign five years ago; and it is an important complement to our overarching efforts to ensure all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, aren’t being marketed to, sold to or used by kids.”
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has joined forces with Scholastic to expand distribution of youth e-cigarette prevention posters to every public and private high school in the U.S. and is releasing new resources for doctors, youth groups, churches, state and local public health agencies, and others on the dangers of youth e-cigarette use.
The e-cigarette prevention posters for high schools were developed as part of the FDA’s “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign, which launched in September 2018, and were initially distributed last fall to more than 10,000 high schools. Due to high demand from schools, the FDA, working with Scholastic, will now send these posters to the more than 20,000 remaining high schools across the U.S. The posters aim to educate teens on the dangers of e-cigarette use and are intended to be displayed in high school bathrooms and deliver messages catered to teens such as:
- “Strangely enough, some students come in here to put crap into their bodies. Vapes can contain some of the same cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarettes.”
- “Some of the grossest things in this bathroom are in that vape. Vaping can expose your lungs to acrolein, which can cause irreversible damage.”
Additionally, in response to a high demand for information about the potential health consequences of youth e-cigarette use, the agency has developed two new posters specifically for public health stakeholders, which are available through the Center for Tobacco Products’ Exchange Lab.
The new resources come as the FDA marks the five-year anniversary of the launch of its first tobacco prevention campaign, “The Real Cost,” which has since prevented nearly 350,000 kids from initiating cigarette smoking. To commemorate the anniversary and success of the campaign to date, the agency recently published a special supplement in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.