Cigarette ad sparks anger in Brooklyn neighborhood

November 16, 2010 2:14:25 PM PST
A Brooklyn neighborhood is one of ten locations across the country to be featured in a new ad campaign.

The campaign is for cigarettes, and that has some people fuming.

"I guess I'm one of those people that smoke," Hilde Lorentsen said.

It may be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, then to get the hipsters of Williamsburg to quit smoking.

Maybe that's why the makers of camel cigarettes are changing their packaging? Cashing-in on Wiliamsburg's new cache.

"They're selling an image that it is cool to smoke. It's really not," Lorentsen said.

The limited edition camels will go on sale in December. For eight weeks nationwide, the ad campaign will single out ten places regarded by camel as "culturally-unique."

"The promotion provides the brand the opportunity to interact with adult smokers in a relevant and entertaining way," said a company spokesman.

New York's health commissioner says it's appalling.

"R. J. Reynolds used Joe Camel in the 1990s and that was stopped because that was a shameful way to try to present smoking as cool and hip. This is just the same idea in different form," Dr. Thomas Farley said.

"He's not from the area. He's not from the neighborhood. He doesn't live here. It helps the neighborhood. I don't see anything wrong with it. I'm totally in favor it. It's okay with me," resident Sonny Mukhopadhyay said.

Many smokers told us the new packaging should make Williamsburg proud.

David Goldman is a non-smoker who says it's a disgrace.

"It's an insult. I find it's an insult. It's revolting. I would like them to just go away in general," he said.

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