Starting this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a new video series as part of its “The Real Cost” Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign, featuring real stories from teens who have become addicted to vaping. “These powerful narratives from youth show their peers the disastrous impact of e-cigarette addiction, like the teens who developed severe anxiety and depression after using e-cigarettes or the high school athlete who could no longer compete,” the FDA said in a statement.
In the video series, called “My Vaping Mistake,” teens describe in their own words the physical and emotional toll vaping addiction has taken on them. The videos will appear on youth-focused channels and be amplified on social media throughout the year.
The campaign aims to educate youth that vaping – in the same fashion as cigarettes – puts them at risk for nicotine addiction and other health consequences. “A teen’s brain is still developing, making it more vulnerable to nicotine addiction, and nicotine exposure during the teen years can disrupt normal brain development,” the FDA said.
While vaping has become a growing issue among youth – thanks in large part to marketing efforts of vaping companies like JUUL that have targeted teens with flavored e-liquids and social media campaigns – the agency’s “The Real Cost” E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign, which launched in 2017, has shown positive results for reach and engagement. Originally focused on digital and social media sites popular among teens, the campaign has branched out to TV ads, and has engaged teens with more than 882,000 “likes,” 121,000 shares, and 50,000 comments on social media outlets.
Aside from the social media campaign geared to warn youth about the dangers of vaping, the FDA is also cracking down on vape manufacturers that continue to sell flavored vapes and use marketing that entices teens. The agency also said it is “committed to supporting research into therapies for youth who are trying to quit e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product.”
Beasley Allen lawyers Joseph VanZandt and Sydney Everett, together with Mass Torts Section Head Andy Birchfield, are currently representing individuals who are suing the top U.S. vape maker JUUL for the negative impact its products have had on their lives. Beasley Allen has also filed lawsuits on behalf of school districts that seek to protect students and recover resources spent fighting the vaping epidemic.