For decades the tobacco industry has used flavored products to mask the harshness and flavor of tobacco, which is particularly appealing to youth. E-cigarettes, an electronic device that heats liquid and produces aerosol, are the most popular commercial tobacco product youth use. These devices typically contain nicotine and come in several enticing flavors including candy, fruit and menthol, making them highly addicting and dangerous. Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulate that can harm adolescent brain development, cause lung damage, and increase and/or worsen poor mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression. Flavors are the primary reason youth report using these addictive devices with recent reports showing that 89% of youth who use e-cigarettes use flavored devices. Current FDA flavor bans have significant exceptions for disposable and open-tank e-cigarettes. As a result, more than 1.97 million middle and high school students currently use e-cigarettes in 2023.

To combat this tactic by the commercial tobacco industry, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) recently released a new campaign, Empower Vape-Free Youth. The goal of this campaign is to empower middle and high school educators to engage with youth in meaningful conversations about the risks of e-cigarettes and nicotine addiction and to encourage youth to avoid and/or quit vaping. The new campaign materials include:

  • Print resources
  • Animated videos
  • Live action videos
  • Social media assets
  • Quit resources
  • Educator resources
  • Information on healthy coping skills

These materials are available on the CDC OSH Media Campaign Resource Center (MCRC).