FDA Report on “The Real Cost” Tobacco Campaign Shows Successes in Youth Smoking Prevention, Public Health Cost Savings

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a report examining“The Real Cost” campaign and its impact on youth tobacco use. “The Real Cost” campaign launched in 2014 to educate at-risk teens about the harmful effect of cigarette smoking and other tobacco products. In a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the FDA reports that the campaign has prevented up to 587,000 youth nationwide from initiating smoking between February 2014 and November 2016, half of whom might have gone on to become established smoking.

It is further estimated that by preventing hundreds of thousands of youth from becoming established adult tobacco users, “The Real Cost” campaign will save more than $53 billion for youth, their families, and the U.S. by reducing smoking-related costs such as early loss of life, costly medical care, lost wages, lower productivity, and increased disability. According to the FDA, the campaign to educate the more than 10 million at-risk teens about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking saved $180 for every dollar of the nearly $250 million invested in the campaign.

Additional information on the recent study, as well as the FDA’s tobacco prevention and control efforts, is available here.