New Campaign Links Nicotine to Youth Mental Health Crisis

The Truth Initiative has revealed a new anti-vaping campaign titled “It’s Messing with Our Heads.”

The group says its campaign exposes “nicotine’s role as a contributor to the worsening youth mental health crisis and the tobacco industry’s ongoing attempts to distort public perception about the health effects of vaping products.”

As part of the campaign, the makers created a fake vape company called Depression Stick! to raise awareness of the fact that nicotine can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression and underscore the mental health impact of real e-cigarette products.

According to the Truth Initiative, the Depression Stick! campaign follows the playbook of its e-cigarette competitors “complete with kid-friendly flavors, aiming to reach and engage young people through influencer unboxings.”

“Vaping has become so normalized in pop culture and many young people don’t even see it as an issue,” explained Mo Said, founder and chief creative officer of Mojo Supermarket, the independent agency that created the effort, in a statement.

“With everything happening in the world young people’s number one concern is their mental health. We believe that if we could show the connection between vaping nicotine and anxiety and depression, they’d never look at a vape the same way again.”