Biden Administration Spends Millions in HHS Grant on ‘Anti-Vaping’ Social Media Campaign for LGBT Youth

Biden HHS Spends Millions On

Biden HHS spends millions on ‘anti-vaping’ social media campaign for LGBT youth

The Department of Health and Human Services of President Joe Biden has spent more than $2.2 million on an “anti-vaping messages” project aimed at crafting social media strategies “to reduce disparities in vaping” among “sexual and gender minority youth.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse has provided this funding to the University of Pennsylvania from July 2021 to April 2026 according to funding documents reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

The University of Pennsylvania is using the grant to evaluate the effectiveness of a tailored social media intervention to prevent vaping initiation among LGBTQ youth. The project plans to include rapid-cycle feedback with stakeholders, including LGBTQ organization leaders and youth advisor to ensure feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. The effectiveness of this social media campaign in reducing vaping among the target group remains to be seen.

Rise in Vaping Among Youth

Teenage vaping has increased significantly in recent years, with cigarette smoking declining, according to CDC data. Cigarette smoking causes over 480,000 deaths per year in the United States. In June 2022, the Food and Drug Administration ordered Juul, a major electronic cigarette company, to stop selling products in the U.S. The move was widely criticized by Republican lawmakers. However, the federal government continues to regulate the vaping industry strictly.

Opposition to the HHS Grant

Allison Boughner, vice president of American Vapor Manufacturers, the leading trade group for the vaping industry, has criticized the HHS grant, labelling it as another “horrendously irresponsible cash grab” that worsens the problem and causes harm. Alex Clark, CEO of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, expressed concerns about the grant’s effectiveness. Conservative activists have criticised the grant’s premise of “health equity promotion model.”


The Biden administration’s HHS grant of more than $2 million to reduce vaping among LGBTQ youth through social media campaigns has stirred controversy. The opposition argues that this grant misleads young people and fails to provide them with factual education. The effectiveness of social media campaigns remains questionable as the rates of vaping among young adults continue to rise.

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