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Fresh Empire Campaign

Fresh Empire Campaign

Nearly 5 million multicultural youth are open to smoking or are already experimenting with cigarettes—meaning they have already smoked up to 100 cigarettes in their lifetime1—highlighting a critical need for stronger, more targeted youth tobacco prevention efforts.

"Fresh Empire" is FDA's first public education campaign designed to prevent and reduce tobacco use among at-risk multicultural youth ages 12-17 who identify with hip-hop culture, specifically African American, Hispanic, and Asian American/ Pacific Islander youth.

"Fresh Empire" targets youth who identify with the hip-hop peer crowd—an innovative and promising segmentation approach that focuses on youth who share the same core ideals, have similar life experiences and common interests, and are at higher risk for tobacco use.

The campaign associates living tobacco-free with desirable hip-hop lifestyles through a variety of interactive marketing tactics including the use of traditional paid media, engagement through multiple digital platforms, and outreach at the local level.

The initial phase of the campaign launched in May 2015 in four southeast markets in the United States: Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Charlotte, NC; and Raleigh, NC. In October 2015, "Fresh Empire" expanded to markets throughout the United States.

Key Messages for the Target Audience

Fresh Empire campaign"Fresh Empire" is dedicated to encouraging hip-hop youth to reach their goals of being successful, attractive, and in control through the tagline "Keep it Fresh: Live Tobacco Free," which emphasizes to youth that living tobacco-free will help them achieve their idealized self-image. The following key message areas form the basis for campaign advertising:

  • Addiction: Positions tobacco addiction as an obstacle preventing youth from being fully in control of their life.
  • Harmful Chemicals: Communicates that the toxic mix of chemicals found in cigarettes can have negative, long-term health consequences as well as immediate effects on one’s physical appearance and performance.2
  • Health Consequences: Addresses how the negative health consequences of smoking cigarettes can affect youth and their parents, siblings, and peers.

Measuring Success

We are conducting an outcome evaluation of the campaign to measure whether exposure to campaign messaging creates positive changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among multicultural youth ages 12-17 who are at-risk for or already experimenting with using tobacco.

Campaign Resources for Adults

Following best practices for teen marketing and other public health campaigns, our goal is to keep the "Fresh Empire" campaign authentic and credible to a teen audience. This is particularly important as the campaign starts to grow organically among teens.

Public health advocates, educators, and anyone else who is interested in spreading the word about "Fresh Empire" to adult audiences can get our campaign resources including:  

You can also use FDA's social media channels, including @FDATobacco on Twitter and www.facebook.com/FDA  on Facebook, to engage with us around the campaign. While we very much appreciate your support, we ask that you not engage with the youth-targeted social media platforms.


  • The 2016 Shorty Social Good Awards named the Fresh Empire campaign a finalist in the Public Health category.
  • The 2017 Telly Awards named the Fresh Empire campaign the Silver winner in the Motivational category for Video / Shows / Segments, and a Bronze winner in the Public Interest & Awareness category for Promotional Pieces.

For questions about the campaign, please send inquiries to tobaccocampaigns@fda.hhs.gov.

1. Based on 2013 data from NYTS on experimentation and openness to smoking among youth and 2014 youth population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS). A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: What It Means to You (Consumer Booklet). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2010.