The US Food and Drug Administration has released a new public service announcement video aimed at deterring ‘epidemic’ levels of teen vaping.
The video, called ‘The Real Cost’ was recently launched on platforms like YouTube and Instagram and is aimed at 11 million American youths aged 12 to 17.
It focuses on why vaping is not a suitable habit for minors, but the way in which the public health agency are trying to get the message across has ignited some debate.
Some are even saying the video, which features horror film-like scenes, makes vaping ‘cooler’.
Talking to ‘The Daily Briefing’ on Fox News upon the release of the video, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb MD said the organisation sees clear signs that teen e-cigarette use has reached an epidemic proportion in the US.
He told the news programme,
“We have early data that shows the rate of use is accelerating very sharply … There’s a very steep increase in the number of teens and middle schoolers that are using vaping products.”
He added that the FDA has seen “historical advertising on social media” which has been directed at young people.
He also said e-cigarettes, such as the ever-popular pod devices have, “become a fashionable items among teens” but stressed the importance of people realising that nicotine addiction is a by-product of this teen-habit.
Several commentators and pro-harm reduction campaigners in the US have long argued that if the FDA tries to regulate vaping stateside, it could drive teens back to cigarettes.
While Dr Gottlieb acknowledged vaping as a means to smoking cessation for adults, calling it “a viable alternative”, he stressed it is not a product suitable for young people to pick up just because it is “in vogue”.