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FDA to launch campaign warning kids of e-cigarette dangers

FDA to launch campaign warning kids of e-cigarette dangers
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to educate kids about the dangers of electronic cigarettes.

The agency said Tuesday it’s planning to expand its public education campaign, known as “The Real Cost,” this fall to include messaging to teens about the dangers of using e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) while it develops a full-scale campaign for 2018. 

“Educating youth about the dangers of tobacco products has been a cornerstone of our efforts to reduce the harms caused by these products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

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“Including e-cigarettes and other ENDS products in our prevention work not only makes sense, it reflects the troubling reality that they are the most commonly-used tobacco product among youth.”

The announcement comes a little over week after the FDA announced its plans to propose rules to reduce nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to nonaddictive levels as part of a new comprehensive multi-year plan to regulate nicotine.

The agency is planning to seek public input on whether to regulate menthol and kid-appealing flavors in tobacco products, including cigars and e-cigarettes.

A recent FDA study found that more than 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery products in 2016. The FDA called the data troubling given the evidence that nicotine exposure affects the developing brain.

The FDA claims its “The Real Cost” campaign, launched in 2014, prevented nearly 350,000 youth between the ages of 11 and 18 nationwide from starting to smoke between 2014 and 2016.