FDA launches new campaign to inform teens of health risks of e-cigarettes

Suzanne Monaghan
October 04, 2018 - 8:06 pm
Signs in the window of the Smoke Depot advertise electronic cigarettes and pods by Juul, the nation's largest maker of e-cigarette products, on September 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Federal officials say vaping is a teen epidemic. 

As a result, the Food and Drug Administration is launching a new campaign called "The Real Cost" to inform young people of the health risks of e-cigarettes.

More than 40 percent of teens nationwide have tried e-cigarettes, according to federal data from 2016.

"It's not great news in Philadelphia, even though it's lower — 34.5 percent," said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products. "That means that just over a third of all high school-age kids in Philadelphia have tried an e-cigarette."

Zeller said the stats will rise for 2018, and teen vaping jeopardizes the progress made over the last 30 years to reduce tobacco use among young people.

"There's risk here. There are health consequences, whether it's the nicotine in these products that can rewire the still-developing teenage brain, or the kind of compounds that can be found in e-cigarette vapor like formaldehyde and metal particles. Kids don't know this," he explained.

So the FDA is cracking down on manufacturers and retailers and starting digital advertising, even hanging posters in thousands of high schools to help raise awareness.

For more information, visit fda.gov.