FDA takes on rural teens using smokeless tobacco

FDA takes on rural teens using smokeless tobacco

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If you live in the Cape Girardeau, Paducah, or Harrisburg area, you will likely see a new set of commercials when you switch on the TV.

The target will be young men and their use of smokeless tobacco.

It is all a part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's push to reach rural teens in its "The Real Cost" campaign.

According to the FDA, nearly 1,000 males under the age of 18 use products like dip, chew, and snus, for the first time each day.

Furthermore, a recent study showed 31.8 percent of white males ages 12 to 17 are either experimenting with or at-risk for using smokeless tobacco. That means 629,000 male teens nationwide.

The FDA says that is because in rural communities smokeless tobacco is a part of the culture. Teens might see their fathers, grandfathers, older brothers and community leaders using these products.

That is why the administration is using first time messages to help teens fully understand the negative health consequences of using these products. That includes addiction, gum disease, tooth loss, and multiple kinds of cancers.

The FDA says the goal is to help teens realize smokeless doesn't mean harmless and get them to reconsider what they think they know about these products.

The Cape Girardeau area is just one of the markets where these ads will run.

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