truth® launches Fake Vape Company “Depression Stick!” To make a point

WASHINGTON, September 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – truth®, The Truth Initiative’s nationally proven and recognized youth smoking, vaping and nicotine prevention campaign has revealed its latest effort to educate young people about e-cigarettes. “It’s playing with our heads“, outlining the role of nicotine as a contributor to the worsening youth mental health crisis and the tobacco industry’s continued attempts to distort public perceptions of the health effects of tobacco products. vaping. As part of the campaign, truth created a fake vape company called Depression Stick! raise awareness that nicotine can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression and highlight the mental health impact of real e-cigarette products like JUUL, Vuse, blu, Logic and NJOY, the leading e-cigarette brands popular with young people.

Boasting fruity flavors like Citrus Sadness and Deception-Mint, Depression Stick! launched with national ads, including “Why be happy when you can be sad?” And vapors that “smell like anxiety” but “taste like cereal” lead viewers to his website: The Depression Stick! The campaign follows the playbook of its e-cigarette competitors with kid-friendly flavors, aiming to reach and engage young people through influencer unboxes, TikTok takeovers, pop-up shops, and online ads. bold neon lights broadcast across the country, including on a Times Square billboard. While some nicotine vaping products use similar tactics, Depression Stick! is “proud to be the first e-cigarette company to honestly admit that vaping nicotine can amplify feelings of depression and anxiety.” truth revealed he was behind Depression Stick! during Sunday night football on September 19e with hidden camera style ads following Craig, vice president of marketing at Depression Stick, as he tries to “sell depression” at gas stations, to social media influencers, lobbyists and unsuspecting advertisers. His goal: to convince them to help promote this new vape product by telling the truth and capitalizing on the sadness. Everyone who was approached refused to work with Depression Stick! that is the goal of the campaign.

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that depression and anxiety in young people doubled during the pandemic, compared to pre-pandemic estimates. Meanwhile, youth vaping remains at epidemic levels with almost 20% of high school students vaping, with almost 40% of those vaping, doing so regularly. Yet the very thing that many young people look to for relief can actually make it worse. “It was time for the tobacco industry to be exposed as a major contributor to the mental health crisis to help end youth vaping,” said Robin koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. “Pissed off truth fashion, Depression stick! boldly highlights the marketing tactics used by Big Tobacco to lure young clients into a lifelong addiction and to spoil their heads. The multiplatform campaign is putting the necessary emphasis on the role of nicotine in the potential worsening of symptoms of depression and anxiety in order to give young people the facts they deserve to make informed decisions and lead better and more lives. healthy. “

“Vaping has become so normalized in pop culture and many young people don’t even see it as a problem,” explained Mo says, Founder and Creative Director of Mojo Supermarket, the independent agency that created the effort. “With everything that is going on in the world, the number one concern of young people is their mental health. We believe that if we could show the connection between nicotine vaping and anxiety and depression, they would never consider vaping again. in the same way.”

FDA regulatory delay, e-cigarette sales data, nicotine science

Stick of depression! follows the FDA’s postponement of a court ruling on the applications of category leaders in electronic cigarettes such as JUUL and other major brands which together account for 75% of the market, leaving these popular products widely available and delaying regulation to help smokers quit by ensuring these products are safe and deliver on their promises. “The tobacco industry grows its business and profits on the backs of young people, putting millions of people at risk for a lifetime of nicotine addiction and mental health problems,” Koval added.

Data shows national e-cigarette sales hit record highs this summer and could rise further as students return to school. According to a new Truth Initiative survey, 70% of young people said they expect their peers to vape as much or more when they return to school. In addition, the investigation revealed:

  • 81% of respondents who have ever vaped said they started vaping to reduce anxiety, depression or stress.
  • 93% of vapers report that vaping has had a negative impact on their life because it made them more stressed, depressed or anxious.

The science is well established that nicotine interferes with brain development – disrupting the formation of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction – but nicotine can also negatively impact mental health. The campaign draws attention to two of these two crises facing young people – a mental health crisis and a vaping epidemic – which, according to peer-reviewed studies, are interconnected, as detailed in a white paper by the recently released Truth Initiative on the topic titled “Conflict crises: youth mental health and nicotine use. “

This is stop smoking + mental health resources

Giving up nicotine leads to positive mental health outcomes and thanks to This is Quitting, a first-of-its-kind SMS-based quit vaping program, truth has helped over 370,000 young people on their journey to quit vaping. A recent clinical trial shows that This Is Quitting increased e-cigarette smoking cessation rates by almost 40% in young adults aged 18-24 compared to a control group. truth also offers a comprehensive, free digital program, Vaping: Know the Truth, which gives students the facts about the health dangers of e-cigarettes and the help they need to quit smoking.

“Young people are going through a mental health crisis right now and we are pleased that the Truth Initiative is raising awareness that vaping can intensify anxiety and depression,” said Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO of Mental Health America. “Young people should consider this information when choosing to use vape products. We are committed to providing this information and we stand alongside the Truth Initiative as a resource.”

At a time when the growing mental health crisis intersects with the current epidemic of youth vaping, young people – especially those who vape – need to know that nicotine use is associated with depression, anxiety. and other mental health issues and where to turn for help.

“Equitable access to comprehensive, high-quality services and programs is essential to support the mental health and well-being of young people,” said Chuck ingoglia, President and CEO of the National Council of Mental Wellness. “We applaud the work of the Truth Initiative to bring attention to the fact that nicotine can amplify feelings of anxiety and depression in young people and provide resources for young people who vape like This Is Quitting.”

Young people struggling with mental health issues or wanting to quit vaping can access free resources at More information about the campaign and the link between nicotine vaping and mental health is available at: and

About the Truth Initiative®
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that inspires tobacco, vaping and nicotine-free lives and builds a culture where all youth quit tobacco. In 2020, we celebrated 20 years of saving lives and preventing millions of young people from smoking. Our impact has helped bring down the rate of teenage smoking from 23% in 2000 to 4.2% in 2020. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry is at the heart of our proven and trusted strategy. nationwide. truth® public education campaign. truth has also recently supported the vaping and opioid epidemics among young people. Our rigorous scientific research and policy studies, our community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of tobacco use, and innovation in tobacco addiction treatment are also helping to end one of the battles of tobacco use. most critical public health issues of our time. Situated at Washington DC, our organization, formerly known as the American Legacy Foundation, was created and funded by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the Attorneys General of 46 states, five US territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more, visit

About the truth®
truth is the longest-running and most successful national tobacco prevention campaign for youth and young adults. The campaign presents the facts about tobacco use and the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics so that young people can make informed choices and influence others to do the same. We are recognized for preventing millions of young people from becoming smokers and we are also committed to achieving the same results in ending the epidemic of e-cigarettes among young people, including helping young people to quit smoking through our One-of-a-kind vaping program for teens. and young adults This is Quitting. truth is part of the Truth Initiative®, a national public health organization dedicated to fostering a culture where young people reject smoking, vaping and nicotine. Learn more about truth and the organization behind it on and

SOURCE Truth Initiative

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