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NJ Department of Health,

Smoking Tobacco E Cigarette

How helping teens find their voice helped NJ fight a burgeoning health problem.

Changes in attitudes and anti-smoking efforts have significantly reduced teen cigarette use. But that didn’t stop the tobacco industry from trying to get young people addicted. With vapes that looked like rolls of candy and flavors that tasted like them, teen vaping skyrocketed. The New Jersey Department of Health hired Princeton Partners to reverse this trend.


NJ Department of Health,



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After working with a teen advisory group, we found that teens often started vaping due to peer pressure, but they also reacted strongly when they felt that Big Tobacco was attempting to manipulate them.


With that insight, we developed, a digital and peer-to-peer campaign that gave voice to teen’s concerns about vaping and Big Tobacco’s role in trying to shape their attitudes. It gave them a rallying cry and platform for solidarity. The peer pressure that might have gotten young people to vape was now a way for them to resist.

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In 90 days, we achieved powerful levels of engagement stimulated through 13.9 million impressions and 9.1 million completed video against a primary target of only 400,000 New Jersey teens, aged 13 though 18. We deployed social content in Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, programmatic, and OTT streaming. As a result of the success of the campaign, The Department of Health invited Princeton Partners to educate the state’s hospitals and health care leaders using presentations and a digital resource kit so that resources could be multiplied and the momentum sustained regionally and locally.

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