Public Health Education Campaigns
FDA's public education campaigns help educate the public—especially youth—about the dangers of regulated tobacco products. Rooted in science, these efforts are critical to achieving our public health mission.
We encourage public health advocates and other interested members of the public to engage with our campaigns through 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, Director, Center for Tobacco Products
Rooted in Science
Achieving the FDA's mission to reduce tobacco-related death and disease requires a comprehensive, innovative approach. FDA's tobacco use prevention campaigns focus on changing knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that lead to tobacco use, by following an evidence-based process to develop messages and tactics, including:
- 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
The Real Cost Campaign
The FDA's first-ever national public education campaign to discourage youth cigarette smoking, "The Real Cost,” launched in 2014 to reach young people open to smoking or already experimenting with cigarettes. In the first two years, the campaign prevented nearly 350,000 teens from starting to smoke cigarettes, half of whom might have gone on to become established smokers. This ultimately saved these kids, their families, and the country more than $31 billion by reducing smoking-related costs like early loss of life, costly medical care, lost wages, lower productivity, and increased disability.
In 2016, FDA expanded “The Real Cost” to educate at-risk rural teens about the dangers of using smokeless tobacco through targeted advertising in 35 U.S. markets. In 2018, FDA launched a full-scale e-cigarette prevention campaign under “The Real Cost” brand to address the rising popularity of e-cigarettes among teens.
Are you a teen looking for The Real Cost?
Fresh Empire Campaign
"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?
This Free Life Campaign
"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?”
Every Try Counts Campaign
“Every time you finish a pack is a chance to become a nonsmoker.”
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try try, try again”
FDA’s newest public education campaign, “Every Try Counts” is aimed at encouraging cigarette smokers to quit through messages of support that underscore the health benefits of quitting. These messages will be displayed in and around gas stations or convenience stores – retail locations where smokers face a multitude of triggers and that typically feature cigarette advertisements. The “Every Try Counts” campaign targets smokers ages 25-54 who have attempted to quit smoking in the last year but were unsuccessful. The campaign launches in January 2018 in 35 counties across the nation with high rates of adult cigarette smoking. The campaign is also supported by digital and radio ads and the EveryTryCounts.gov website that features cessation tools.