New anti-smoking ads to target teens

The Food and Drug Administration is launching a new multi-million dollar anti-smoking campaign.

Lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative eye disease, and more than a dozen kinds of cancer are just some of the health risks linked to smoking cigarettes.

“I also think there’s, even now,  a lot of stigma around smoking for young people or young adults, so you would think that the peer groups would kind of pressure each other not to smoke nowadays, is what I would think,”  Matt Scott, Director of Resident Life at  American International College, told 22News.

But about 90 percent of adult smokers in the U.S., began the habit before they reached 18 years old.   According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than 700 kids become smokers each day.

AIC student Joseph Stafilarakis, from Springfield, said he remembers how kids in high school smoked to try and be part of a certain crowd.

“It just depends on the crowd you hang out with.  Some of the people they just start to act rebellious, and they just really want to fit in,” Stafilarakis said.

Now, the FDA is launching a 115 million dollar campaign to try and deter teens from starting a smoking habit and to get the ones who do, to quit.

The entire cost will be covered by tobacco companies through fees they are required to pay the FDA under a 2009 law.

The new campaign, called “The Real Costs”, will cover several media platforms and feature yellowing teeth and wrinkled skin to try and demonstrate what smoking could “cost” young people.

The new ads will begin to run February 11th in over 200 markets across the country.

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