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Youth Advocate Helps Launch FDA Media Campaign

February 11, 2014


The Real Cost, the FDA’s new public education campaign aimed at preventing youth tobacco use, launches nationally today across multiple media platforms including TV, radio, print and online. It will run for at least a year.

Daniel Giuffra, one of our 2013 Youth Advocates of the Year, represented his peers at the Feb. 4 launch event in Washington, D.C. Now a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, Daniel considers himself “a teenager who wants to help other teens understand the risks of tobacco use.”

Because of his leadership on the issue, the FDA invited Daniel to view the ads before they were made public. He thinks the ads’ focus on losing control – to cigarette “bullies” who demand your money and take over your life – will resonate with his age group.

“It’s different from what we’ve heard before, and teens are going to pay attention to this,” he said. “A campaign like this can and will make a difference.”

Daniel first learned how powerful tobacco addiction can be when he was trained as a smoking cessation counselor at Casa de Salud, a clinic that primarily treats the Hispanic community in his hometown of St. Louis, MO. There he encountered a smoker who wrapped his last pack of cigarettes in duct tape to make them harder to access, and another who tried occupying his empty hands with a Rubik’s Cube.

Seeing the strong hold it had on patients at the clinic, Daniel realized the importance of preventing young people from using tobacco – and he has been a passionate advocate ever since.

The FDA ads are supported by the best available science. The $115 million ad campaign helps to counter the $8.8 billion a year – $1 million every hour – the tobacco industry spends to market its deadly and addictive products. However, the tobacco companies spend more on marketing every five days than the FDA will spend in an entire year on its new campaign.

The Real Cost Ad: 'Bully'

The Real Cost Ad: 'Allison'