January 19, 2004
HONOLULU -- The Hawaii State Department of Health, in partnership
with the Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund, isare taking
the recently launched "Just Let Me Breathe" campaign to the most
tobacco-vulnerable-population - kids.
Youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii screened the new
60-second video at an anti-tobacco assembly emceed by KXME radio
personalities. The event featured giveaways including a bicycle,
skateboards, music CD’s, tank tops, stickers, and more. The young
people were able to critique the video for it’sits overall
effectiveness and impact.
The music video breaks new ground in PSA development as it features
the use of real life video mixed with animation. The videos are
scheduled to appear during programs with a youth audience on TV
broadcast and cable stations statewide through the end of May. "Just
Let Me Breathe" alerts kids of the dangers of tobacco use, warns them
of tobacco industry tactics, and encourages them to stay away from
tobacco using a creative format.
"Almost 90% of current smokers began their addictive habit as
teenagers. So it is critical that we reach out to youth and educate
them on the dangers of tobacco use before they begin smoking," said
State Health Director Chiyome Fukino, M.D.
The video is just one component of the comprehensive tobacco control
program. The campaign also includes a new series of 13 anti-tobacco
posters placed in high visibility areas for teens including shopping
malls, movie theaters, the aloha stadium and parking lots throughout
the state. Additionally radio spots featuring the rap song, "Just Let
Me Breathe", which was written and performed by local rap artist Mo Luv
has been airing on local radio stations since last fall.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) if
current trends continue in Hawaii, 60,000 children alive today will
become addicted to tobacco by the time they are 18; and 20,000 of them
will die prematurely of tobacco-related illnesses. A proven effective
method of reversing these disturbing trends is through well funded,
sustained, comprehensive tobacco control programs including
counter-marketing efforts such as television, radio and print
advertisements. These comprehensive media campaigns are designed to
increase awareness and knowledge and change attitudes about tobacco use
in Hawaii. Changing social norms is critical to combating the deadly
effects of tobacco on our community.
"These comprehensive media campaigns are designed to increase
awareness and knowledge and change attitudes about tobacco use in
Hawaii,"We are very pleased that this media campaign is funded through
the monies Hawaii is receiving through the Master Settlement Agreement
(MSA) with the tobacco industry," said Margery Bronster, Chair of the
Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board. "We
must be successful in changing social norms if we are to combat the
deadly effects of tobacco on our community. The only way to do this is
through effective statewide comprehensive tobacco control programs,
including long-term media campaigns, such as this one. We are very
pleased that this media campaign is funded through the monies
Hawai‘i is receiving through the Master Settlement Agreement
(MSA) with the tobacco industry. If we are to be successful in reducing
tobacco use in Hawai‘i over the long run, it is critical that MSA
funds continue to be allocated specifically for tobacco prevention and
cessation programs statewide."
The Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) is the State
Department of Health's lead program in the development, coordination
and implementation of a comprehensive tobacco prevention and control
initiative for Hawaii. For more information on tobacco prevention and
youth, contact the state Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and
Education Program at 586-4613.
The Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund and its Advisory Board
were created by Hawaii’s landmark legislation (Act 304, SLH 1999)
devoting a significant portion of Hawaii’s tobacco settlement
money to public health efforts. The Trust Fund, which receives 25
percent of the scheduled payments, is invested and administered by the
Hawaii Community Foundation.
For more information on tobacco prevention and youth, contact the
state Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Education Program at
For more information, contact:
Laura M. Lott
Department of Health
Phone: (808) 586-4418
Cell: (808) 368-6109
Joan Bennet & Associates, Inc.
Phone: 531-6087 ext. 5