Thousands of kids start vaping every day, making e-cigarettes a nationwide epidemic. In fact, from 2016 to 2020, rates of e-cigarette use increased by 73%. The truth is that e-cigarettes contain harmful and addictive ingredients including nicotine, formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer, and acrolein, which is used as a weed killer and can cause irreversible lung damage. In addition, nicotine exposure as an adolescent or young adult can harm the developing brain and lead to a lifetime of addiction to tobacco products.
This year’s PSAs use pop culture and viral dance video trends to connect parents and their kids as a lead-in to more serious conversations about the dangers of vaping. “We wanted to help parents open up a conversation. I have three children and I know hard it can be to talk about anything serious, so we really wanted to strike the right balance between humor and getting across an important message,” Joanie Golden, EVP, Group Account Director, from Hill Holliday explained.
Moving Forward with the Vape Talk
When developing previous campaigns like 2020’s “Get Your Head Out of the Cloud,” research revealed that parents sometimes struggle to believe that their child would even consider using e-cigarettes. In fact, a popular statement used in that ad was “It couldn’t be my kid.” But with the most recent CDC youth tobacco survey reporting 2.1 million kids currently using e-cigarettes, parents are more aware of what is happening. So now is the time to talk about vaping, and the Lung Association wanted to make sure that parents have the resources to help with that daunting task.
“Though we hope the ad will resonate with kids too, we are targeting the parents, and inspiring them to talk to their children.” Joanie said. “Research shows that teens are most likely to start vaping due to peer pressure and stress, and for the most part children won’t start the conversation. So, it is up to parents to intervene before their children become addicted.”
The PSA begins with a dad trying to get his teen’s attention in a few different ways. “We decided to start with some dad jokes and focus on the realistic moment of a teen buried in her phone screen. I think that people can really relate to that,” Joanie said.
Then the dad asks his daughter for help creating a Tik Tok dance video about vaping, with the viral sensation The Backpack Kid (Russell Horning) there to back him up. “We were introducing them to a lot of information, but I think we found a nice way to incorporate it into the dance, with the layover of the statistics, and stay true to the story," said Joanie
By the end of the spot, the dad and daughter have come together to have a serious talk, an important moment. “It was some of those moments of the dad and his daughter just sitting together that are important and I what I hope people will remember them," Joanie said. "It is overwhelming the change that we could have in someone’s life.”
Watch our new PSA and learn more about how to talk to your teens about vaping.
Blog last updated: August 23, 2023