New PSA's hope to encourage smokers to kick the habit

James Serreno
James Serreno
April Rutherford
April Rutherford

By Sean Ibara

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Have you seen those public service announcements, targeting smokers?

Now a bunch of new PSAs are set to air, that officials hope will persuade more people to kick the habit.

For many who light up, smoking has become an addiction that's taken a strangle-hold on their lives. But a new campaign aims to put out the fire on this pesky problem.

Creative Director April Rutherford says, "we actually did a lot of research and some focus groups and the thought behind them was your health is in your hands".

This is a sneak peek into the two newest and latest PSAs, paid for with monies from a tobacco settlement in the 1990's. These locally-made spots are hoping to help promote the Hawaii Tobacco Quit Line, which provides assistance and motivation for smokers to quit.

"I was an ex-smoker and to me I have a personal connection to it because I know what it feels like to be a smoker and go through those feelings", said Director James Serreno.

And the message of the spots... simple...

"In this case the ball and chain is a very clear symbol of what it's like to be dragged down by smoking", said Rutherford.

Also helping to drag down the habit are newly-enacted federal and state taxes, upping the price of a pack of cigarettes.

"My hope is that by doing what I do with my craft, I can maybe influence people to help them make better choices in their life, says Sereno.

The two PSAs debut on Monday.

There's also an on-going effort with an organization called Clear the Smoke to create PSAs and educational events.