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HHS HealthBeat (February 10, 2014)

The Real Cost

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Ninety percent of adult smokers started as kids – teenagers. But smoking does its worst – disease, disability and death – to adults. Teens might not think that far ahead.

With this in mind, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has started a campaign called “The Real Cost,” to reach 12- to 17-year-olds with dangers that resonate with teens. Commissioner Margaret Hamburg:

“It causes premature wrinkling and damages your skin. It causes gum damage and even loss of teeth. And also issues around control, and being sort of a victim to the habit of smoking.

The goal is to get teens not to start smoking – and, if they have started, to quit before they’re addicted. Teens’ brains are still developing, and are more vulnerable to nicotine.

Learn more at therealcost.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: February 10, 2014