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(Photo credit: FDA.)
Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – The Federal Food and Drug Administration announced a new ad campaign Wednesday dubbed “Next Legends,” with the goal to educate native youth about the harms of e-cigarettes and vapes.
The campaign is part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to protect youth from the dangers of tobacco use.
The FDA explained in a release that the campaign will educate American Indian/Alaska Native youth, ages 12-17, about the harms of vaping through unique branding and tailored messaging created to inspire a new generation to live Native strong and vape-free.
According to data from the FDA, there are approximately 400,000 Native teens in the U.S., and more than half of them are at-risk of using tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Studies show that Native youth are more susceptible to e-cigarette use than their non-Native peers, the agency said, and they demonstrate disproportionately high experimentation and current use of e-cigarettes.
The FDA laid out three data points.
- Native youth are more likely to use e-cigarettes and almost twice as likely to be frequent users of e-cigarettes than high school students overall;
- 47.3% of Native high school students reported past 30-day use of “electronic vapor products” including e-cigarettes compared to 32.7% of high school students overall; and
- 19.9% of Native high school students reported using electronic vapor products frequently (on 20 or more days in the last 30 days) compared to 10.7% of high school students overall.
The campaign plans to reach Native teens with ads on social media, as well as on gaming platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
To ensure cultural relevancy for this audience, the FDA’s media contractor, Rescue Agency, partnered with G+G Advertising, a native-owned advertising agency with more than 20 years’ experience working with tribes and communities.
“The Next Legends campaign is an important and creative way to educate Native youth about the harms of vaping,” said Michele Mital, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Communicating with Native youth through culturally-aligned messages will help these youth make informed decisions about healthy behavior, including being vape-free.”
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