As a parent of high school students, Dr. Christopher Iannuzzi knows e-cigarettes are a serious problem among teens. \u201cE-cigarettes has essentially become an epidemic,\u201d said Iannuzzi, chairman of oncology at St. Vincent\u2019s Medical Center in Bridgeport. \u201cMy own kids tell me that, in high school, kids use e-cigarettes all the time. I don\u2019t think kids are aware of the true dangers of these products.\u201d He applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration\u2019s announcement it was launching \u201cThe Real Cost Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign,\u201d targeting the nearly 10.7 million youth ages 12 to 17 who have used e-cigarettes or are open to trying them. The campaign will feature hard-hitting advertising on digital and social media sites popular among teens, as well as placing posters with e-cigarette prevention messages in high schools across the nation. \u201cE-cigarettes have become an almost ubiquitous \u2014 and dangerous \u2014 trend among youth that we believe has reached epidemic proportions,\u201d said FDA Dr. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a news release. \u201cThis troubling reality is prompting us to take even more forceful actions to stem this dangerous trend, including revisiting our compliance policy that extended the compliance dates for manufacturers of certain e-cigarettes, including flavored e-cigarettes, to submit applications for premarket authorization.\u201d In his statement, Gottlieb said the flavors are one component that makes e-cigarettes appealing to children. He said the aim of the new campaign is to \u201csnap teens out of their \u2018cost-free\u2019 mentality regarding e-cigarette use.\u201d Iannuzzi said the idea behind the campaign is intriguing, and it sounds like it could be successful. \u201cI think people have the impression that, because these aren\u2019t real cigarettes, they aren\u2019t harmful,\u201d he said. \u201cI think educating kids about the real risks can be very helpful.\u201d With its tagline, \u201cKnow the Real Cost of Vaping,\u201d the campaign\u2019s message is that using e-cigarettes puts users at risk for addiction and other health consequences \u2014 just like smoking \u201creal\u201d cigarettes. The idea is to let young people know that nicotine can rewire the brain to crave more nicotine. Other messages highlight that e-cigarettes can contain dangerous chemicals such as acrolein, a chemical that can cause irreversible lung damage; formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical; and toxic metal particles, like chromium, lead and nickel, which can be inhaled into the lungs. The ads will run on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Instagram, as well as \u201cThe Real Cost\u201d campaign website. Posters also will be placed in at least 10,000 high school bathrooms, and additional materials for students and educators will be distributed to schools. Gottlieb said most of the posters will be placed in high school bathrooms \u2014 a place where students are most likely to face pressure to use nicotine products. The FDA has taken action over the past several months to target the illegal sales of e-cigarettes to youth, as well as the kid-friendly marketing and appeal of the products. Last week, the FDA issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors during a nationwide undercover blitz of brick-and-mortar and online stores this summer. The agency last week also issued letters to five major e-cigarette manufacturers whose products \u2014 JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, blu e-cigs, and Logic \u2014 were sold to kids during the enforcement blitz asking them to submit to FDA within 60 days plans describing how they will address the widespread youth access and use of their products. If they fail to do so, the FDA could require those brands to remove some or all of their flavored products from the market until they meet all of their obligations under the law. \u201cThe Real Cost\u201d Youth E-Cigarette Prevention Campaign is a nearly $60 million effort funded by user fees collected from the tobacco industry.