Youth Vaping Prevention PSA Use the Dance Challenge to Fight the Dangers of Vaping

The American Lung Association and the Ad Council today launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) encouraging parents to proactively talk to their children about the dangers and health effects of vaping. The new public service announcements, created for free by advertising agency Hill Holliday, are part of a wider campaign to raise awareness of the risks associated with vaping among young people and to help parents of children aged 10 to 14 year olds to engage in important conversations with their children to prevent their children from starting.

“These new public service announcements address the need for parents to learn about the dangers of vaping in a way that feels relevant and timely,” said Michelle Hillman, Campaign Development Manager for the Ad Council. “We know that stress and peer pressure are the biggest motivators for kids to start vaping. With the start of a new school year and a host of pressures young people face, we’re providing parents with essential resources and encouragement to have important conversations with their kids about vaping.

Teen e-cigarette use rates have increased by 73% between 2016 and 2020. Currently, 2.1 million children use e-cigarettes and thousands of children start vaping every day. Despite the growing number of young people who vape, many parents with children between the ages of 10 and 14 do not fully realize the risks associated with youth vaping. E-cigarettes contain harmful and addictive ingredients including nicotine, formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer, and acrolein, and can also cause irreversible lung damage. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm brain development and lead to lifelong addiction to tobacco products. Additionally, children who use electronic cigarettes are four times more likely to try a traditional cigarette and three times more likely to become addicted to nicotine.

“The educational campaigns and conversations that parents have with their tweens about issues like vaping are essential. We know from more than 50 years of efforts to end smoking that these educational programs are making a difference in deterring young people from using these highly addictive products,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO. of the American Lung Association. “While we see historically low smoking rates, e-cigarette use among young people is still unacceptable. Collaboration, such as our partnership with Ad Council and Hill Holliday, is essential to ending the vaping epidemic. for young people.

Developed pro bono by creative agency Hill Holliday, the new public service announcements use pop culture and viral dance video trends to connect parents and their children as an introduction to more serious conversations about the dangers of vaping. The spots feature dancer, social media influencer and anti-vaping activist Russell Horning, “The Backpack Kid”, who shot to fame after his dance video “Flossing” went viral.

“We are proud to launch this important and timely campaign, which will help protect the health of children as they return to school,” said Karen Kaplan, President and CEO of Hill Holliday. “We are deeply passionate about our partnership with the American Lung Association and the Ad Council; this ongoing collaboration has had a tremendous positive impact on the health of Americans and continues to save lives.

“Young people don’t always think about how the choices we make now can really hurt us when we get older,” said Russell, now 20. “I’m proud to use my platform to encourage kids to never start vaping so they can follow their dreams without the health risks of vaping holding them back.”

The campaign encourages parents to visit for resources for parents to talk to their kids about vaping, such as a “Get the Facts” page on vaping for young people and a conversation guide.

“#DoTheVapeTalk” public service announcements will appear nationwide in given media time and space, in all advertising formats: broadcast, radio, digital, social, display and print. TikTok has pledged to provide additional support for the campaign, working with some of the platform’s influential creators on custom content development and providing important donated media to reach parents with the campaign’s critical message. Meta is also committed to providing donated media space to reach parents. Since the campaign launched in 2020, the Lung Association and Advertising Council’s youth vaping prevention effort has received more than $35.4 million in media support given through television, radio, print, outdoor and digital media, receiving over 2.7 billion impressions.

For more information on #DoTheVapeTalk, or to access resources on how to talk to kids about the dangers of vaping, please visit here.