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The Real Cost: More Than Money

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Submitted By lexi1223
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The Real Cost: More than Money
Years ago, there was never a concern for smoking. Adults began at a young age and smoked everywhere, from bars and restaurants to movie theaters and airplanes. It was accepted socially and there were no rules against the habit, because no one fully understood the repercussions from it. According to recent research, of the more than 2.4 million deaths in the USA annually, over 440,000 are caused by smoking (Nordqvist). It is the largest cause of preventable death in the world and most of the deaths that could be prevented are adults. Tobacco companies understand that their product kills off their older customers, which is why they begin to aim their marketing strategies towards teenagers, in hopes that they will try cigarettes and become addicted to the nicotine, making them lifetime customers. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) sees this happening and has decided to take action against the behavior, via social media and public service announcements.
The FDA has launched a new tobacco prevention campaign called “The Real Cost,” which is aimed toward youth. It targets adolescents ages 12-17 who are at risk of picking up smoking as a permanent habit. The goal of the campaign is to educate these youth about the harmful effects of tobacco use and in the long run reduce the amount of smokers in the future. There are several commercials based on “The Real Cost” aimed at teenagers that can be viewed during breaks on television channels most popular with teenagers, such as MTV and ABC Family. These ads are all powerful and relatable, but the one that strikes me as the most shocking is one that focuses namely on teenage girls.
The scene is a small gas station late at night. The lights on the outside are dim and the clown sign that towers over the building is frightening. Inside, the gas station is desolate with no customers. The bright...

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