You are here: Home » News-IANS » Health-Medicine
Business Standard

US launches anti-smoking campaign targeting 'hip-hop' teens

IANS  |  Washington 

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the launch of a national anti-smoking campaign to prevent and reduce tobacco use among "hip-hop" teens who it said are "often hard to reach and frequently exposed to pro-tobacco images and messages".

The $128 million 'Fresh Empire' campaign, funded by tobacco user fees, will try to associate living tobacco-free with a hip-hop lifestyle through a variety of interactive marketing strategies, including the use of traditional paid media, engagement through multiple digital platforms, and outreach at the local level.

The first ads will air nationally in conjunction with the 2015 BET Hip-Hop Awards on October 13, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

The campaign will launch during the week beginning October 12 in 36 markets throughout the US for at least 24 months.

The FDA said it is focusing on the 'hip-hop' teens because research estimates that they are more likely to use tobacco than other youth.

"We know from our research that remaining in control is an important pillar of hip-hop culture. But smoking represents a loss of control, so tobacco use is actually in conflict with that priority," said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.

"The 'Fresh Empire' campaign underscores that important message to hip-hop youth, empowering this at-risk peer crowd to live tobacco-free."

'Fresh Empire' is part of the FDA's ongoing efforts to combat tobacco uptake and use among youth, and complements the FDA's general market at-risk youth education campaign, 'The Real Cost', which was launched in February 2014.

According to the FDA, tobacco use is almost always initiated during adolescence -- close to 90 percent of established adult smokers smoked their first cigarette by age 18 -- making early intervention critical.

The agency said more than 2,600 youth under the age of 18 smoked their first cigarette each day in the US and nearly 600 became regular smokers.

It noted that about 4.4 million "multi-cultural youth" are open to smoking or are already experimenting with cigarettes, which highlighted a critical need for targeted youth tobacco prevention efforts.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, October 07 2015. 13:34 IST