Vaping has become increasingly popular among adolescents in recent years, and concerns have been raised about the potential negative health effects of vaping. Nicotine, a chemical found in vaping products, is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, leading to lasting effects on attention, learning, and memory.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been working to address the rise of vaping among adolescents through its Real Cost campaign, which aims to educate adolescents about the harmful effects of vaping and discourage them from starting to use vaping products.
A clinical trial has found that vaping prevention ads from the FDA can help reduce the number of adolescents who are susceptible to vaping. The study was a randomized clinical trial that included 1,514 adolescents aged 13 to 17 years old who were recruited from online panels.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: two groups that watched vaping prevention ads from the Real Cost campaign, and one group that watched neutral videos about vaping created by the researchers. The Real Cost ads were either health harms- or addiction-themed.
Over the course of three weeks, participants completed four weekly online surveys. At each survey, they watched three 30-second video ads online, with the order of the ads randomized. The clinical trial found that the Real Cost groups had lower susceptibility to vaping and smoking cigarettes compared to the control group.
The primary trial outcome was susceptibility to vaping, which was measured by three items that ranged from 1 (not susceptible) to 4 (highly susceptible). The Real Cost groups had lower susceptibility to vaping than the control group. The groups did not differ from each other on susceptibility to vaping.
The clinical trial also found that the Real Cost groups had lower susceptibility to smoking cigarettes than the control group. Both groups had less positive attitudes toward vaping and smoking compared to the control group.
The trial’s findings suggest that vaping prevention ads can reduce the extent to which youth are open to vaping and can have beneficial effects on cigarette smoking outcomes. Tobacco prevention campaigns can help reduce youth tobacco use.
Vaping prevention ads can be an effective tool in reducing the number of adolescents who are susceptible to vaping and smoking. The Real Cost campaign’s focus on the negative health effects of these behaviors may help change adolescents’ attitudes and discourage them from starting to use vaping products. Further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of the campaign and whether it would be effective for all adolescents.
This clinical trial suggests that vaping prevention ads can be effective in preventing the use of vaping products among adolescents. By educating adolescents about the harmful effects of vaping and smoking, the Real Cost campaign may be able to change their attitudes and discourage them from starting to use these products.