Use of Fear in a Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign

A study published in the Journal of Communication in Healthcare (2021) involved conducting a content analysis of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ‘The Real Cost Youth E-cigarette Prevention Campaign’ in late September 2018 as part of the Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to warn teens about the dangers of e-cigarette use.

The campaign used digital and social media websites that are popular among youth, deployed video games hosted on a designated website, and distributed posters to schools across the country.

The analysis showed the choice of communication venues was innovative and potentially effective.

However, the campaign featured repeated use of fear-based messages in these advertisements.

The campaign did not feature messages empowering youth and promoting specific healthy behaviors.

The authors stated that there is a need for more evidence-based messaging that feature positive and empowering strategies for youth to model healthy behavioral changes.

The Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program is an evidence-informed screening and brief intervention linking the prevention of e-cigarette use with the promotion of healthy behaviors and related positive future images.

It provides empowering messages to youth about desired future images of themselves engaged in healthy behaviors with e-cigarette use as counterproductive.

The Vaping PPW program also provides youth with an opportunity to set and monitor goals to achieve positive identities by avoiding vaping while increasing physical activity, healthy nutrition, sleep, and stress control.

Learn more about the Vaping PPW program: https://preventionpluswellness.com/products/evidence-based-e-cigarette-prevention-plus-wellness-program

Read the study abstract: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17538068.2020.1860671

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