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FDA will launch messages to counter tobacco promotion

December 12, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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With smokers experiencing a number of triggers to use at popular retail locations, the federal government has decided to fight back on the same playing field. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced this week that its “Every Try Counts” campaign will display at convenience stores and gas stations a number of messages encouraging smokers to quit.

The two-year campaign, which will launch in 35 U.S. markets in January, will try to capitalize on research showing that smokers who have previously tried to quit are more likely to try again. One of the campaign's print advertisements reads, “You Didn't Fail at Quitting. You Just Haven't Finished the Process.”

“Tobacco companies have long used advertisements at convenience stores and gas stations to promote their products, and we plan to use that same space to embolden smokers to quit instead,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a news release.

The FDA and the National Cancer Institute have partnered to establish an Every Try Counts website that offers consumers tips on quitting and words of encouragement, as well as a mobile app to track triggers and information on access to coaching assistance.

“Our aim is to render cigarettes minimally or non-addictive, while encouraging the development of potentially less harmful tobacco products for adults who still want or need access to nicotine,” Gottlieb added. Up to this point, that effort has not included any move by the government to classify smokeless tobacco “snus” products as less risky to consumers, despite claims by some that they pose a significantly safer alternative to cigarettes.