What's a Pack of Smokes Cost? Your Teeth
By Sarah Ford on February 4, 2014
By Rob Stein
When it comes to persuading teenagers not to smoke, you have to think short-term, the Food and Drug Administration says.
"While most teens understand the serious health risks associated with tobacco use, they often don't believe the long-term consequences will ever apply to them," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told reporters Monday before unveiling the agency's first-ever anti-smoking campaign.
Instead, the ads focus on how smoking affects teenagers' appearance by ruining their skin and messing up their teeth. One graphic TV ad shows a teenager buying a pack of cigarettes at a convenience store and literally pulling out a tooth with a set of pliers to pay for them.
"What's a pack of smokes cost? Your teeth," the narrator says. "Smoking can cause serious gum disease that makes you more likely to lose them."
"For the first time the federal government is really using the same quality advertising agencies, using the same kind of research, that the tobacco industry has used for decades to market to kids," says Matthew Myers, who heads the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "However, this time they're doing it to discourage tobacco use among kids."