U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
An FDA high school bathroom postering campaign sparking nationwide media coverage
In 2014, the FDA launched its first tobacco prevention advertising campaign, “The Real Cost” to educate at-risk teens about the devastating consequences of cigarette addiction. Research showed the campaign prevented approximately 350,000 teens, from ages 11-18, from starting to smoke. Ultimately the campaign ended up saving these teens, their families and the U.S., more than $31 billion in smoking-related costs. Now, the FDA is back with an extension of that campaign which educates at-risk teens about the dangers of e-cigarette use.
The FDA’s decision to utilize Refuel Agency for this effort was an easy one. Refuel possesses in-depth high school relationships, spanning across the U.S., and the largest network of proprietary teen-based in-school assets in the country. The FDA’s goal? To raise awareness among teens via a nationwide anti-vaping postering campaign.
For the first time ever, warnings, in the form of posters, are being placed in high school bathrooms. These posters are aimed at the nearly 10.7 million teens at risk for e-cigarette use and potential addiction. The FDA’s objective is clear – reach teens at the point of contact; a place where many are using e-cigarettes or are faced with the peer pressure to engage in the risky behavior. School administrators are praising the efforts of the FDA’s new campaign, even citing it “will make an important difference.”
The “snarky and irreverent” educational campaign ads are sparking widespread national, regional and local media coverage from CNN to USA Today. The campaign’s key messages revolve around the science of nicotine addiction and the reality that e-cigarettes often contain other toxic chemicals such as lead and formaldehyde. According to the FDA, more than 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the U.S. in 2017.