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The FDA’S ‘Real Cost’ Campaign Compares Vaping To Demonic Possession In A Haunting New Video

By Jordan Millar 15th January 2023 3 Mins


What do Ouija boards, satanic rituals and vapes all have in common…they’re all apparently good ways to get possessed.

As vapers, we all know that feeling; you’re waiting for your next puff and an unholy force claws its way from the pits of hell to take hold of your soul.

A desperate need for nicotine drives you into a demonic fit of rage and your body contorts into unnatural and gruesome shapes as your eyes roll back into your head.

The only way to exorcise the satanic hunger is with a long draw from your e-cigarette, after which you dispel the evil through a plume of much-needed vapour.

What do you mean no? That isn’t your experience? But that’s how the FDA’s campaign ‘The Real Cost’ portrayed it.

In a controversial new video, the government-funded effort painted a similarly ghoulish scene, warning that if you use e-cigarettes…you might just be ‘possessed’.

The short clip featured a young schoolgirl, tapping her fingers on the desk while she impatiently held-out until her next chance to vape.

Eventually, the cravings become too much though and it cuts to the teen dragging her nails across metal lockers and spewing out noises that are typically reserved for on-screen ghosts and undead beasts.

She then loses full control of her body, twisting and convulsing her way down the hallway before we cut once more to her vaping in the bathroom as though nothing had happened.

Posted to The Real Cost’s Twitter account – which claims to be a source of ‘accurate information’ – the video was accompanied by the warning: ‘If vape cravings are taking control, you may be possessed by nicotine’.

This quickly triggered outrage from advocates, who hit back at the newest effort to – quite literally – demonise vaping for employing similar tactics to reefer madness adverts of old.

Kevin Garcia, a tobacco harm reduction fellow at Filtermag, said:

“Why is federal funding still being used to create fear-mongering drug war propaganda in 2022?

“There is an exhausting amount of research showing that fear-based messaging is ineffective…this is sad.”

Critics also slated the video for portraying a ‘child’ using an e-cigarette, suggesting it would sooner encourage young people to try vaping than stop them from picking up the habit.

Jim McDonald of  Vaping360 stressed that kids know adverts like this are a ‘wild exaggeration meant to scare them’ and would only serve to pique their curiosity and their distrust in the anti-vaping dialogue.

INNCO executive director Charles A. Gardner also joined the chorus of voices condemning the clip, calling on the FDA to stop spewing out ‘health misinformation’.

He claimed the regulator knows the US public is ‘profoundly’ in the dark when it comes to the relative risks of vaping and has ‘no plans’ to correct it.

Gardner said:

“They’re too busy telling teens vaping causes ‘demonic possession’…and if you don’t believe me on that claim, just watch this short FDA-funded public service announcement.”

Of course, The Real Cost and its financial-backers aren’t literally saying you’ll become a puppet for some malevolent spirit if you choose to vape…though that didn’t stop a wave of critics from calling out the video online.

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Jordan Millar