FDA taps YouTube star to fight teen smoking

The Food and Drug Administration’s latest weapon to fight teen smoking goes by the name “SkyDoesMinecraft” and can tout more than 10.3 million subscribers on YouTube.

The FDA said Friday they have hired Adam Dahlberg, a 21-year-old YouTube star to post anti-smoking public service announcements targeting kids.

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“As part of extending our reach on The Real Cost Campaign, the FDA is working with individuals such as [Dahlberg] who resonate with, and can effectively reach, at-risk teens with messages that help them rethink tobacco use,” FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Rodriguez said.

Dalhberg is known for videos about his adventures in the virtual world of "Minecraft," an online game. It is estimated that he makes almost $3 million a year from his videos on YouTube, according to Business Insider. Those videos have had over 2 billion views.

While Dalhberg doesn’t smoke, he told AdWeek he’ll be posting video blogs about how he’s been impacted by family members who were smokers.

Earlier this year, the FDA launched “The Real Cost,” a campaign targeting at-risk children between the ages of 12 and 17.

The campaign is using TV, radio, print and online platforms to reach out to kids and persuade them not to smoke.

While marketing and selling cigarettes to children is already illegal, a major concern for lawmakers has been the teenagers’ use of e-cigarettes.

The liquid tobacco vaporizers don’t have an age restriction, and some lawmakers are worried the makers of e-cigarette are using old tactics such as flavored tobacco and celebrity endorsements to target children.

Rodriguez says the FDA’s current anti-smoking campaign does not target e-cigarettes because it does not have regulatory authority over them.

However, the agency has issued a proposed rule that would give it that authority.