Herrera slams Camel for using the Haight in marketing 

City Attorney Dennis Herrera called on R.J. Reynolds tobacco company Monday to stop using “the cool reputation of San Francisco’s Haight neighborhood” to sell their deadly products.

The North Carolina-based tobacco company has launched a “Break Free Adventure” marketing campaign with special edition cigarette packs that include such cities as San Francisco.

Herrera wants the marketing to stop and a recall of the special edition cigarette packs.

“This 10-city adventure game shamelessly appeals to you by featuring cities, including San Francisco, that are associated with independent music, trendiness, rebellion and freedom,” the letter said. Reynolds is “exploiting the name and image of the Haight, a historically significant San Francisco neighborhood that is associated with youth counterculture and rebellion, to market cigarettes to young people.”

San Francisco has gone after the industry with success. It recently became the first city to ban the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies. And in 1997 The City was involved in a lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds for using the Joe Camel cartoon character to sell cigarettes, which ultimately led the company to abandon the character throughout the nation.

“San Francisco does not want its cultural icons like the Haight to be exploited to promote the idea that you can ‘evolve, revolve or revolt and follow the force to break free’ by smoking Camels,” Herrera said in the letter.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com


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