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FDA Launches Smoking Cessation Campaign For C-Stores

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a new smoking cessation campaign aimed at encouraging smokers to quit with messages that highlight the health benefits of not smoking.

The FDA says these messages will be displayed in and around gas stations and convenience stores.

“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, M.D. “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.”

The two-year campaign launches in January in 35 U.S. markets and features print, digital, radio and billboard ads. The FDA expects that retailers will voluntarily download the ads and display them in various locations at the point-of-sale, including pump toppers, the front door, at the register and on store shelves. The agency says that placing ads in these locations will discourage consumers from purchasing cigarettes.

“According to the FDA, this program is completely voluntary. They will offer the ads to retailers to put up as they wish,” said Lyle Beckwith, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) SVP of government relations.

“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, J.D., 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,” said Zeller.

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