For years, the Delaware Division of Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program has been implementing policies, programs and advertising campaigns that have helped to lower Delaware's teen and adult cigarette smoking rate to all-time lows. During this time, however, the data has shown a dramatic increase in the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. DDPH and AB&C saw the need to implement a campaign that targeted young Delawareans to urge them to reconsider the safety and use of these products.
The campaign theme touches on some of the best practices established over the years for youth tobacco prevention, such as rebelling against big tobacco. We use the tag line “Don’t Be an E-Cig Guinea Pig” to combat the fact that there are not definitive studies that show the exact harmful effects of these products. The website expands on the theme to provide tangible examples of the currently known harmful effects as well as other products in history that were once considered “safe.”
Vaping and e-cigarette products have gained momentum quickly, and this is the first campaign that DDPH has implemented in this space. The campaign has only been running for a short time, but we are looking at the mass media and digital media metrics to gauge the reach and effectiveness of the campaign. Over the next few years, as we follow up with other messages, we will look at the overall e-cigarette use among our target market to determine the ultimate success. This data is collected every other year by the State of Delaware.