FDA Launches Anti-Smoking Campaign - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

FDA Launches Anti-Smoking Campaign

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For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration is launching a media campaign to keep young Americans from smoking.

The ads will target about 10-million teens that might start smoking or already do.

About 17% of Nevada's teens use tobacco, and while the national number is dropping, it's on the rise in the Silver State.

Lisa Sheretz is the Lung Health Program Manager for the American Lung Association in Nevada.She says funding and education are a main reason for the increase but hope the commercials will change that.

"The FDA is working with this media campaign for teens to help shut down tobacco use and reverse the huge death toll because it's the people we love that are dying," Sheretz said.

The American Lung Association says 90% of smokers start before their 21st birthday.

480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses every year.

"That works about to about four jumbo jets crashing everyday," Sheretz said. "If four jumbo jets crashed everyday, they might shut down aviation pretty quickly."

Some ads show how addicting cigarettes can be, while others show how smoking affects overall health and how it affects appearance.

The FDA is spending $115 million on this campaign compared to the tobacco industry that spends $8-billion a year on marketing. "They have deep pockets and they need replacement smokers. To them, replacement smokers mean teen smokers."

Sheretz says that three out of 10 teens that try cigarettes will get hooked on nicotine.

Lungs are developing until age 25 so smoking has both short-term and long-term health effects.

Most teens don't smoke, and experts say the high-risk ones are usually poor and less-educated.

A new surgeon general report says that 5.6 million American children will die from tobacco-related illnesses unless the smoking rate goes down.

Adults that smoke try to quit smoking an average of 11 times.

So experts say the key is to never start.

Written by Paul Nelson

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