Your vape is a ‘toxic therapist’ in Truth’s new animated spots from Mojo Supermarket

Chris Parnell voices the character, who messes with your head in latest PSAs about vaping nicotine’s effects on mental health

Published On
Oct 04, 2023
A vape pen grinning at the camera

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If you’re a stressed-out teenager, you might think vaping calms you down and makes you feel better—almost like a therapist. But in fact, the opposite is true, as memorably illustrated in a series of animated spots from Mojo Supermarket for the Truth Initiative.

The spots feature a vape pen, voiced by comedian Chris Parnell, as a “toxic therapist” who encourages your worst impulses when you’re anxious, rather than trying to soothe you in any way. The first two spots below focus on the sleep problems that often come with vaping nicotine.


A third, related spot is about how vaping nicotine can intensify feelings of anxiety.


Mojo Supermarket won creative AOR duties for Truth in 2021. Its first major campaign for the group, focused on the mental-health dangers endemic to vaping, won the Grand Effie for effectiveness earlier this year.

“We wanted to acknowledge the truth—even if young people know vaping nicotine isn’t good for them, it’s so easy to reach for a vape in stressful moments,” Namwan Leavell, senior copywriter, and Sarah Olicker, senior creative, at Mojo said of the latest campaign. “It feels like a way to calm down, but it’s making our mental health even more toxic. That’s why we personified a vape as the toxic therapist, a ‘helpful’ source of relief that’s ultimately messing with our heads.”

Along with the animated films, Truth Initiative created a microsite for the campaign, partnered with mental health influencers to offer real advice about coping with stress and anxiety, and made a Snap lens filter that lets users meet the toxic “therapist” through a toxic “therapy” appointment.

Gale handled media for the campaign.

A recent study published in Tobacco Control found that higher awareness of the “It’s Messing with Our Heads” campaign led to significantly lower e-cigarette use among youth and young adults, as well as lower odds of young people using e-cigarettes in future.

“Research has shown that the Truth campaign has slowed the progression among existing e-cigarette users, and encouraged quitting overall, so we know that when we give young people the facts, they make informed decisions,” said Elizabeth Kenny, chief marketing officer at Truth Initiative. “As the colliding crises of youth e-cigarette use and mental health continue to plague our nation, ‘Toxic Therapy from Your Vape’ provides vital information for young people. In addition to shedding light on the misconception that vaping nicotine helps alleviate stress and anxiety, it also provides young people with resources to cope and quit.”  


Oct 04, 2023
Client :
Truth Initiative
Agency :
Mojo Supermarket
Media Agency :

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