FDA to advertise latest anti-smoking messaging near c-stores and gas stations
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced an adult smoking cessation education campaign aimed at encouraging cigarette smokers to quit through messages of support that underscore the health benefits of quitting. These messages will be displayed in and around gas stations and convenience stores — retail locations where smokers face a multitude of triggers and that typically feature cigarette advertisements.
"Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S.,” said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. “As Surgeon General, I believe sustained and comprehensive efforts, including the FDA’s ‘Every Try Counts’ campaign, are critical to encouraging more Americans to quit smoking and preventing the harms associated with cigarette use.”
“The ‘Every Try Counts’ campaign encourages smokers to rethink their next pack of cigarettes at the most critical of places — the point of sale. 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,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “The FDA is committed to reducing tobacco-related disease and death by helping people quit combustible cigarettes and implementing comprehensive policies to reduce addiction to nicotine. 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. At the same time, we’re also taking new steps to improve access and use of FDA-approved medicinal nicotine products to help smokers quit.”
The “Every Try Counts” campaign targets smokers between the ages of 25 to 54 years old who have attempted to quit smoking in the last year but were unsuccessful. The two-year campaign launches next month in 35 U.S. markets and features print, digital, radio and out-of-home ads, such as on billboards.
Cigarette smoking is responsible for an estimated 480,000 deaths in the United States each year. Despite declining rates of use among adults, 15% (36.5 million) of adults in the United States were cigarette smokers in 2015. Of those adult smokers, about 2 out of 3 (more than 22 million) said they’d like to quit. While more than 55% of adult smokers made a quit attempt in 2015, only about 7% were successful.
“Every Try Counts,” seeks to celebrate each quit attempt as a positive step toward success because research shows those who have tried quitting before are more likely to try again, and those who have tried to quit multiple times have a higher likelihood of quitting for good.
In addition to the positive messaging, location plays an important and unique role in the campaign. Ads will be placed in various locations at the point-of-sale, including at the gas pump and other places around the retail environment, such as the front door, cash register and shelves. Studies show that in-store displays and other tobacco advertisements can trigger unplanned cigarette purchases, making quitting more difficult. Placing ads in those same locations will help to disrupt the urge to purchase cigarettes and encourage another quit attempt instead.
“Tobacco advertising in retail environments can generate a strong urge to smoke, prompting a relapse among those attempting to quit. This campaign offers smokers motivational messages in those environments with the intention to build confidence and instill the belief within each smoker that they are ready to try quitting again,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “We want smokers to feel good about each attempt to quit because it is getting them closer to one day leading a healthier life free from cigarettes, reducing their risk of tobacco-related death and disease.”
The FDA has partnered with the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to create EveryTryCounts.gov to provide smokers resources and tools to help with quitting. The website includes a free text message program that sends tips and offers words of encouragement, a mobile app to track smoking triggers, trained coaches accessible online or by phone and information about the risks of smoking and the variety of FDA-approved smoking cessation products. Aligned with the campaign’s efforts, the American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Truth Initiative also have pledged resources, such as hosting local smoking cessation events in the “Every Try Counts” target markets.
“Every Try Counts” is a part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to reduce the enormous public health burden of tobacco use and will complement the agency’s at-risk youth and young adult education campaigns aimed at prevention. The campaigns, which are funded by user fees collected from the tobacco industry and not by taxpayer dollars, are based on the best available science and are evaluated to measure effectiveness in changing tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs or behaviors over time. “Every Try Counts” will complement existing and proven cessation messaging focused on hard-hitting health consequences from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign.
The campaign also complements the agency’s comprehensive plan on tobacco and nicotine regulation announced in July 2017. The approach places nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of the agency’s tobacco regulation efforts. In particular, the plan focuses on addressing the role that nicotine plays in keeping smokers addicted to combustible cigarettes and to help move those who cannot quit nicotine altogether onto less harmful products.
Yoplait partners with Girl Scouts of the USA on new yogurt flavors
Yoplait is teaming up with the Girl Scouts of the USA to bring flavors of their infamous cookies to a whole new range of consumers. The General Mills-owned company is launching three new yogurts that draw inspiration from the organization’s famous cookies.
The new flavors — Yoplait Whips! Girl Scouts Thin Mints; Yoplait Whips! Girl Scouts Peanut Butter Chocolate; and Yoplait Original Girl Scouts Caramel Coconut will be available at retailers nationwide beginning in December. They also are new permanent, year-round additions to the company’s portfolio.
"For those who wish they had more ways to enjoy their favorite chocolate mint, peanut butter chocolate and caramel coconut flavors, we have three delicious, new yogurts inspired by America's most popular Girl Scout Cookie flavors," Doug Martin, business unit director at Yoplait, said. "Girl Scouts of the USA does extraordinary things for girls like teaching them valuable life and business skills through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which is why we are honored to work with the organization."
The new flavors do not contain high fructose corn syrup, are made with live, active cultures and are gluten-free, the company said. The Yoplait Whips! Girl Scouts Thin Mints and Yoplait Whips! Girl Scouts Peanut Butter Chocolate flavors will be available in four-oz. cups, and the Yoplait Original Girl Scouts Caramel Coconut flavor will be available in six-oz. cups.
"Girl Scouts of the USA is excited about its relationship with Yoplait to create yogurts inspired by three of the beloved Girl Scout Cookie flavors," Barry Horowitz, GSUSA chief revenue officer, said. "Beyond the delicious flavor, the yogurts will also remind consumers everywhere of the power of Girl Scout Cookies. The cookie program is the largest entrepreneurial training program for girls in the world, and we are pleased Yoplait is working with us to share the message about the program and the impact of Girl Scouts with even more families in America."
Phocus introduces a caffeinated sparkling water
Clear/Cut Phocus has put its own spin on water. The Louisville Ky.,-based company is introducing a new sparkling water that contains caffeine, which is derived from green tea.
Phocus sparkling waters were created as a natural alternative to sugary, calorie-laden sodas and energy drinks, the company said. Each product contains as much caffeine as an eight-ounce cup of coffee and is Kosher, vegan, non-dairy, non-GMO and gluten-free.
“As active, health-conscious individuals, we found ourselves, like so many others, wanting to shift away from high sugar, artificially sweetened and otherwise unhealthy coffee and energy drinks, but still wanted a quality beverage that could deliver an energy boost,” Tom O’Grady, CEO of Clear/Cut Phocus, said. “When nothing seemed to fit the bill, we set out to create Phocus, a great tasting energizing sparkling water without any of the ‘bad stuff’ that you’d find in most energy drinks and sodas.”
Currently, available online and in select Louisville retailers, Phocus comes in an 11.5-oz can for the suggested retail price of $1.99. Each sparkling water comes in four flavors: Grapefruit, Cucumber, Blood Orange and Yuzu and Lime.