US health body the FDA, has launched a new campaign to combat teen smoking and avoid an imminent ‘human disaster’ that they have been warned about by the World Health Organisation. According to the organisation, cancer cases worldwide are expected to increase by 57% in the next two decades and more needs to be done to stop teenagers from taking up the habit.
According to a recent report by the Surgeon General fewer adults are smoking but the number of people under the age of 25 starting to smoke was up 1.9million from 2002 to 2012. The US federal government has stepped in to launch a national advertising campaign to fight the growth in teen smoking.
The director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller, explained to CNN that the ad campaign will be aimed at 12-17 year olds who are at risk of taking up the habit. Mr Zeller said ‘They lead very chaotic and stressful lives. And they’re turning to cigarettes for all the wrong reasons; we have messages that can change that.’
The advertisements concentrate on the aesthetic aspects of smoking in an effort to appeal to the vanity of youth; giving examples of things like wrinkled skin and lost teeth that may come as a result of the unhealthy habit. Mr Zeller added that young people are more likely to pay attention to problems that might affect their appearance rather than lectures.