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Feds Launching Anti-Smoking Campaign

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The Food and Drug Administration is launching an advertising campaign targeting at-risk youth highlighting the dangers of smoking. Similar efforts can also be found at the grassroots level.

FDA’s campaign, called "The Real Cost," is set to launch next week with ads on TV and radio in more than 200 U-S markets for at least one year. It also will use print and social media, using youth-oriented topics.

The FDA says more than 700 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers every day. The 115 million dollar campaign – paid by tobacco company user fees -- will target more than 10 million young people ages 12 to 17 that are open to, or are already experimenting with, cigarettes.

Vince Nguyen, a tobacco prevention specialist with the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County, is also involved with that county’s Tobacco-Free Coalition. He says the federal campaign is similar to the long-running Tobacco-Free Florida.

One developing area of concern involves e-cigarettes – devices that do not burn tobacco, but instead deliver the nicotine through a heated liquid that produces water vapor instead of smoke.

The next meeting of the Santa Rosa County Tobacco-Free Coalition will be held at four o’clock on Thursday, February 13, at the Milton office of the Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County on Stewart Street. The public is invited.