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HHS Healthbeat

The Real Cost

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.

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