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FDA’s New Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Teens With Hip Hop

Yesterday the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially announced their new anti-smoking campaign. The campaign is specifically aimed at minority teenagers.


Image: ScopeBlog

The public service announcements will utilize hip-hop music to encourage minority youth to stop or not even start smoking. Named Fresh Empire, this new nationwide anti-smoking campaign will specifically target multicultural children between the ages of 12 and 17 inclusive.

The FDA reports that almost 4.4 million minority children considering smoking or already trying tobacco. The main message of the Fresh Empire promotions is simple: “Keep it fresh. Live tobacco free.”

Mitch Zeller Director of FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products stated: “Because research shows that teens who identify with hip hop are at a higher risk of using tobacco.” The campaign will include influential members of the community who will reiterate the idea that the use of tobacco has nothing to do with “the hip-hop lifestyle.”

Jonca Bull, M.D., Assistant Commissioner for Minority Health for the FDA, said: “Unfortunately, the health burdens of tobacco use disproportionately affect minority teens particularly African American and Hispanic youth. The ‘Fresh Empire’ campaign will help reach teens at a key point in their lives when experimenting with smoking can lead to addiction.”

Clinical Director of the Colorado Quitline, Amy Lukowski, told the press: “The message is empowerment. I think it’s incredible. To me it’s fresh. It speaks to the youth. It speaks to African Americans. We have an important message to deliver that tobacco kills. And we need to do that in a way that resonates with our populations.”

Freelance writer and ex-smoker Jack S. Chesney concluded: “This $128 million anti-smoking project is funded by tobacco user fees so you can’t much question or be concerned with the expense. Still, you know when this launches next week with the 2015 BET awards (on October 13) this is either going to work well enough to become a classic or it will fail so miserably that the writers of Saturday Night Live will have an easy day at work because it wouldn’t take much work to make this funny.”

FDA’s New Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets Teens With Hip Hop

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.