Within the past few years, vaping and Juuls have became a social phenomenon with both high schoolers and college students. People often argue that vaping has benefits such as breaking away from cigarettes or that it is “healthier” than actual smoking. Another reason is that people use these products to boost their social image. Quite often you will see people at parties or bars taking out their vape or their Juul. The truth is, anything going into your lungs that is not supposed to be there is not healthy.
Just recently, the Food and Drug Association launched a campaign to discourage teens from vaping. It consists of posters and videos that show a parasite on teenager’s faces [Video here]. The FDA is on somewhat of a right path with content and design. They emphasized that vaping can lead to a slippery slope of poor health later in life because of the ingredients that are put into the liquid (such as glycerol and propylene glycol, just to name a couple). From a health standpoint, I find their method of going about this campaign inaccurate. The FDA is trying to get people to understand that this is becoming a widespread epidemic in teens and younger adults by using visual effects because when it comes to health, people typically do not make a lifestyle change unless they see a physical change. Though if we are being realistic, there isn’t an actual parasite growing in the body of those who vape.
I think this campaign will resonate with people short-term, but it will not have a long-term effect simply for the fact that the FDA made it unrealistic. I do believe there are better ways of going about this in terms of content and messaging. For example, CDC’s Anti-Smoking Ad campaign showed viewers real effects of people who have smoked cigarettes and those ads alone caused over 100,000 smokers to quit. It comes to show that realistic scare tactics are more efficient of properly getting the messaging out. Bringing it back to the FDA’s campaign, they could show real videos of people who suffer negative consequences of what vapes actually do. A man from Idaho had his vape explode in his face causing him to lose seven teeth and a second degree burn [Article here]. This could quite possibly be a better method for the FDA with both their messaging content and design.