The FDA’s newest tool to combat smoking: Hip-hop

Back in August, YouTube and Vine stars recreated real-life memes (one of which included a vomiting unicorn) for Truth Campaign’s anti-smoking PSA, “It’s A Trap.” Now, the Food and Drug Administration is trying their own hand at an anti-smoking campaign geared toward we youth.

Say hello to “Fresh Empire,” the $128 million multimedia anti-smoking campaign aimed at minorities ages 12 to 17. The goal of the campaign is to contrast smoking with the in-charge and in-control values often associated with the hip-hop lifestyle.

“We know from our research that remaining in control is an important pillar of hip-hop culture. But smoking represents a loss of control, so tobacco use is actually in conflict with that priority,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement. “The ‘Fresh Empire’ campaign underscores that important message to hip-hop youth, empowering this at-risk peer crowd to live tobacco free.” The FDA is onto an interesting philosophy and one that definitely has us thinking over some of our fave hip-hop lyrics. Their reasons for choosing hip-hop to target young people also seem to go beyond, “well it seems like the kids like the hip-hop!” Which is good too.

In addition to using bold, “in-control” tag lines like “CEO of Independence” and “Fresh and In Control,” the campaign hopes to combine other values of hip-hop culture (i.e. “being authentic, powerful, confident, fashionable, creative and trendsetting”) in order to show how tobacco doesn’t “fit in” with those values.

According to the FDA, the campaign will launch the week of October 12, and will debut during Tuesday’s BET Hip Hop Awards. The campaign will run across, “approximately 36 markets throughout the United States for at least 24 months.” Also, in a win, due to a 2009 law that gave the FDA more power over the tobacco industry, “the $128 million campaign is funded by tobacco user fees.” Oh, hey.

Check out a clip from the campaign, below. And get used to this campaign, it sounds like it’s going to be everywhere.

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[Image via YouTube]