The campaign is paid for by tobacco settlement money set aside to prevent people from smoking. Officials with the state commission on Health and Wellness claim the new ads are strong, but they will get results.
"We've got 2,200 kids every day starting, 2,200 a day," said Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue, who chairs the group. "They need something that makes them pay attention. These ads make them pay attention in a different kind of direct way."
Perdue said the ads specifically target teens who have not started smoking. Frederick Hoskins of Wilson said he started smoking when he was a teenager and he is skeptical.
"A teenager's going to do what they want to do, you know. It's like an addiction or something," Hoskins said.
However, the ads did seem to affect younger people like nonsmoker Shemika Ruffin.
"People don't need to be smoking at a young age. Plus, they've got a whole life to be thinking about positive stuff instead of negative stuff right now," she said.
The ads are running on three Raleigh radio stations that typically reach the teenage market.