WILKES-BARRE — New anti-smoking ads are making the rounds on TV and online. The Food and Drug Administration just kicked off a new anti-smoking campaign called “The Real Cost,” aimed at preventing teenagers from smoking.
The graphic ads are causing a bit of a controversy and have some people wondering if the TV spots will even work.
One of the new anti-smoking ads, put together by the Food and Drug Administration, shows a teenager buying cigarettes at a convenience store and being told his money isn’t enough.
The ad is a graphic way to point out that smoking could cause gum disease and make people lose their teeth, but is it graphic enough to get young tobacco users to quit?
“I think really, basically, if you do want to do something, you’re going to do it no matter what.”
The public service ads are all part of a new anti-smoking campaign called “The Real Cost,” aimed at preventing 12 to17 year olds from smoking.
Cathy Terwilliger is a counselor at Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services in Wilkes-Barre. She says the ads are more graphic than they are effective.
“I think people when they see them coming on, they turn them off. They switch the channel or they turn their head or whatever. It’s very difficult to look at,” said Terwilliger.
She also says most smokers deny that smoking can hurt them. Some smokers, including Karen McDermott of Wilkes-Barre, say the ads are not only graphic, but offensive.
“I think that it is my choice if I want to smoke, and if people are telling me. I know what the consequences are in smoking, and I think I still want to smoke!” said McDermott.
But another smoker, Katie Luczak, says the ads have her reconsidering her smoking habits altogether.
“For the people that do smoke, sometimes you need to see the actual effects of what it could do,” said Katie Luczak, of Wilkes-Barre.
The anti-smoking ads will appear online, on TV, radio, and in print across the country for at least the next 12 months.