FDA launches a new ad campaign aimed at stopping teenage smoking - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

FDA launches a new ad campaign aimed at stopping teenage smoking

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WASHINGTON (WXOW) -- The Food and Drug Administration wants to stop your kids from smoking, and they're hoping new, striking ads will do the trick.

The new ads show a young man ripping out his tooth to pay for a pack of cigarettes, and another teen being dragged outside to smoke by a bully. The FDA says the ads are meant to be graphic and jarring.

"We really tried to develop messages that would mean something to kids," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said.

Hamburg says they found that what matters most to teens is how they look, so that's what the new 115-million dollar ad campaign highlights. It shows the physical side-effects of smoking cigarettes, like gum disease and wrinkled skin.

Nearly 90 percent of adult smokers started using cigarettes by the time they turned 18, according to the FDA. The agency says it's trying to reach those young smokers before they become addicted.

The ads will run nationwide for the next year with the goal of cutting the number of teenage smokers by 300,000 in  three years.

"The feedback we got from the target audience, these kids, was that these messages were understandable they were powerful they were meaningful and they made them think about smoking," Hamburg said.

The tobacco companies are actually paying the bills through fees charged by the FDA.

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