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FDA launches its first national public education campaign to prevent, reduce youth tobacco use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the launch of a national public education campaign to prevent youth tobacco use and reduce the number of kids ages 12 to 17 who become regular smokers. “The Real Cost” campaign is the FDA’s first of several planned tobacco education campaigns using the new authority granted under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths each year. Each day, more than 3,200 youth under age 18 in the United States try their first cigarette and more than 700 kids under age 18 become daily smokers.
As part of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ call to make the next generation tobacco free, “The Real Cost” campaign targets the 10 million young people ages 12-17 who have never smoked a cigarette but are open to it and youth who are already experimenting with cigarettes and are at risk of becoming regular smokers.

“We know that early intervention is critical, with almost nine out of every ten regular adult smokers picking up their first cigarette by age 18,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “Today marks a historic moment as we launch the FDA’s first-ever national education campaign to prevent tobacco use among our nation’s youth, and we bring to life the real costs that are of the most concern to young people.”

“The Real Cost” campaign uses a comprehensive multimedia approach, compelling facts and vivid imagery designed to change beliefs and behaviors over time. The ads were developed to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco use and to encourage them to be tobacco-free. The campaign uses several social media platforms to create space for teens to engage in peer-to-peer conversations about the issue in ways that are authentic to who they are.

Supported by the best available science, “The Real Cost” campaign will be evaluated to measure its effectiveness over time. It is the first of several campaigns that the FDA will launch over the next few years. Subsequent campaigns will target additional discrete audiences, including multicultural youth, rural youth, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Tobacco News

 

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France Seeks Wider Smoking Ban

Are the days of smoking on French beaches numbered? The country’s health minister fervently hopes so, but I have my doubts. Following the 2008 ban on the weed in closed public spaces – bars, restaurants and similar – and the recent extension of this ban to e-cigarettes, Marisol Touraine now wishes to see tobacco ejected from open spaces. These include beaches but also parks, university campuses, outside school gates and inside bus shelters.

The country’s 15 million smokers, hit simultaneously with a price hike taking a packet of 20 cigarettes to around €7/£5.95, have rolled their eyes (as, increasingly, they roll their own cigs. It’s cheaper.) Thus France’s twin urges to bossiness and insurgency are clashing again.

“No smoking in closed spaces – I can see that,” said a Midi tobacconist I know. “But you’ve really got to want to be annoyed to get annoyed by someone smoking on a beach.” Naturally, the call to the defence of individual liberties is not far behind.

Not even anti-tobacco campaigners are entirely convinced. Yves Bur of the AntiTobacco Alliance reckons the measure all but insignificant. Meanwhile, mayors – on whom the burden of deciding and implementing any ban will fall – say they can’t afford it. And half the country thinks that Mme Touraine’s new campaign is just a way of obscuring her department’s problems with the much meatier matter of pension reform.

That said, the health minister is not all alone. Following the 2011 lead of La Ciotat (near Marseille), spots like Nice, Cannes, St Malo and Ouistreham have already declared certain of their beaches non-smoking. Local papers have been full of pictures of self-satisfied local councillors unveiling “no smoking” signs on the prom.

As has been pointed out, this works because all the resorts have other beaches unaffected by the prohibition, so everyone’s happy. However, a blanket ban would run into cultural hurdles in a country once defined by the pall of Gauloises fumes which hit you on entry. Significant figures like actors Jean Gabin and Lino Ventura, poet Jacques Prévert, musician Serge Gainsbourg and President Georges Pompidou were rarely seen without “une clope au bec” (“a fag stuck to the lip”).

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Tobacco News

 

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