Stopping Teen Vaping
New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene enlisted Zebra Strategies to test e-cigarette prevention campaigns targeted at teenage New Yorkers. We aimed to understand teenagers’ vaping habits, what factors motivate them to begin vaping, and what would deter them from starting or continuing to vape.
"Don't Get Hooked"
Our Initial Findings
We conducted four focus groups, consisting of teenagers aged 13–18, living within the five boroughs. These groups were separated by age group (13–15 and 16–18) and how favorably or unfavorably the participants viewed vaping.
A detailed discussion surrounding participants’ vaping habits, and their knowledge of vaping devices and the associated health risks, was followed by testing five e-cigarette prevention campaigns. Several key insights were learned:
This research, combined with ad testing, provided insight on how to create a campaign that accurately and effectively informs teenage New Yorkers about the risks of vaping, persuades them to care, and motivates them to change their behavior.
Based on our learnings, we recommended that campaigns remind teenagers of the anti-smoking campaigns from their childhoods, which participants all cited as successful deterrents.
Since receiving Zebra Strategies’ report, DOH has issued a press release, sounding the alarm on e-cigarette use among NYC teenagers. The Governor also announced an emergency executive action to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.