Brooklyn Heights Bagel Store is Sorry for Anti-Smoking Poster

01smokead1There are times when you can’t tell if the things you read are from The Onion or The Brooklyn Eagle. Today’s item, about the owner of Montague Street Bagels posting an apology for a NYC DOH mandated anti-smoking poster displayed in the store, is real:

Brooklyn Eagle: “We are sorry, but by order of NYC DOH we are required to post the sign or face a fine a $2,000 fine,” the notice explains. That was confirmed by Joseph Aceto a partner at Montague Street Bagels, in an interview on NY 1 News.

Customers have complained that the ugly anti-smoking poster is out of place in a deli, he said. It’s in color and approximately 20 by 19 inches in size.

NY1 has a video report as well.

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  • AEB

    But is it stipulated WHERE the poster must be placed?

    I’m sure I’m not alone in having noted the wide range of placement given the “choking emergency” sign, for example.

    In some restaurants, one would choke several times over before someone located the sign….

  • tb

    What’s the problem here. Its fine to display cigarettes where kids can see them. Love the posters.. great idea.

  • digby

    No apologies needed, Mr Aceto. I saw it, I liked it.
    Tobacco kills – it took several of my own family well
    before their time. And the knock on effects have sucked
    up our miniscule tax base for medicaid and medicare.

  • cat

    “Customers have complained that the ugly anti-smoking poster is out of place in a deli…”

    If the deli sells cigs, then it’s not out of place.

  • Truman Capote

    Only stupid people smoke now.

  • j

    you’re stupid.

  • Andrew Porter

    I’ve had numerous family members die of smoking related cancers. During the afternoon, lots of teenagers from the local schools congregate here, esp. because it has tables. If even one is turned off smoking by these posters—which are designed on purpose to be stomach turning and offensive—then they’ll be doing their job.

    Speaking of offensive, you may have seen me wearing my “F*ck Cancer” button (with the asterisk, not a letter) around here. They looove it when I go in for check-ups at Sloan Kettering. Had it made myself. And no, I don’t smoke, and didn’t have that kind of cancer.

  • Audrey Silk

    Kudos to this store!

    On July 31, 2009, my organization issued a press release in which we offered store owners signs to hang next to the Dept. of Health mandated signs to counter them.

    That offer still stands.

    Please see: “Smokers’ Rights Group Offers Signs to Store That Challenge Graphic Anti-Smoking Signs.”

    The NY Daily News ran our story on August 1st. 01_money_up_in_smoke_health_depts_antismoking_ad_campaign_a_waste_sez_protester.html

    Founder, NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (C.L.A.S.H.)

  • AEB

    To what degree are signs like this actually a deterrent–especially for the young?

    The pressures that encourage them to smoke far outweigh the effects of signs like the one shown, which, I believe, are looked over, or given the shortest shrift.

    With adults, it can be a different matter–maybe. But I think the campaigns have to be clever–sophisticated. The scare posters, e.g., those that depict clogged lungs, can be look-away nasty. People reject them and thus their messages.

  • lifer
  • Remsen

    Disagree regarding people ignoring scare poster tactics…will always remember seeing real smokers’ lungs on display at the Boston Museum of Science when I was younger…black and falling apart…I never smoked

  • othersideofthebridge

    I can’t believe CLASH is a real group; that should be the satire. Of all the causes you could possibly take up in the world, of all the things that annoy you enough to take a stand… it’s your right to not have to look at a poster that speaks truth? I’m going to form a group petitioning having to walk behind smokers on the sidewalk who blow smoke into my face despite all my attempts to maneuver ahead of them. It seems they go out of their way to stay in front of you and deny you the right to BREATHE despite all my attempts to out maneuver them and get ahead.

  • jorale-man

    Otherside, you’re exactly right. It’s one thing if smokers want to harm themselves in the privacy of their own homes. It’s another when you’re walking behind them or have to duck their smoke when entering a building. I applaud efforts by property owners to ban smoking in front of their buildings, just as I think the bagel shop should be required to keep the sign up in full view.

  • digby

    added points for a great walk in the nabe:
    encountering a smoker on the street who cares little about
    blowing their smoke into my immediate airspace – and finding that I just happen to be in position to let loose the best flatulence I can muster – just in time to invade their immediate airspace

  • Pierrepont

    digby, that is about the most beautiful suggestion I’ve heard in, I dunno, a decade. Civil disobedience via flatulence, aimed at the dwindling population of smokers. Genius!

  • T.K. Small

    What’s that expression that was popular in the 70s “eat beans, America needs more civil disobedience!”

  • north heights res

    I find this poster outrageous. Why should a business be required, as a condition of doing business, to proselytize about individual choices? Should McDonald’s have to post advertisements about exercising because of their high fat food? Should cell phone stores have to post warnings about the dangers of driving and talking on the phone?

  • othersideofthebridge

    I don’t think McDonald’s should have to advocate exercise but it’s not unreasonable for them to post their calorie content so people can make informed decisions about what they eat. I think they can take it a step further and state what percentage their food represents in a child, man or woman’s recommended daily intake (similar to food labels).

  • tb

    I want my kids to see those posters so I can tell them why smoking is harmful and they will get that message before their friends start telling them smoking is cool. What a foul, deadly, repugnant habit. Only stupid people smoke.

  • tb

    Hey North Heights.. Cigarette packages are required to have the message that they are dangerous on them. This is only taking that message a little farther. And yes.. McDonalds should.

  • north heights res

    @tb It’s not Montague Bagels’ job to parent for you: if you think the poster is effective, hang one in your home. To REQUIRE it in order to do business is outrageous. And yes, the labels are already on packages, as the calorie counts are on the menus. Info provided, by the purveyors themselves. Don’t make independent merchants provide free public service announcements.

    I don’t object to the poster, but to the idea that a business incurs a fine if it doesn’t display it.

  • tb

    My kids see people smoking everywhere. Walking down the street we all have to walk throught the foul stench of cigarette smoke. I will gladly support any anti smoking campaign out there to help me with my parenting. The smokers certainly aren’t good role models.

  • digby

    north heights res, I fully respect your libertarian views on this subject. However, if you accept the fact that tobacco is proven to be harmful to the health of a smoker, to fetuses, and to second hand inhalers (most of whom I believe would opt to pass on inhaling if they had a choice) AND you recognize that smoking rates and associated illness among recipients of medicaid and medicare outpace those of the general population, then you may want to support efforts to maximize every ounce of taxes that the big bad government rips from your paycheck/income to support these entitlement programs by helping people to avoid the habits in the first place. That is, unless you don’t care about how your taxes are spent.

  • heights guy

    Great bagels at this place, but Prices are way to high and they have Horrible service and rude staff.

  • nabeguy

    Are you reading north heights posts? He’s not defending smokers or smoking, just expressing a concern about the Big Brother aspect of the city forcing a business to do something it may not otherwise do on its own. As a smoker, I personally have no objections to the posters themselves and think they serve an invaluable service in educating our youth to the hazards of smoking, but, hey, what do I know? I’m stupid.

  • WillowtownCop

    I don’t smoke but all the self righteousness about smoking bothers me. 50 years ago everyone smoked. Most of them didn’t die of lung cancer.

    I think shop owners should be able to decide how they display their legal merchandise. What’s next? Pictures of fat people next to the donuts? Girls gone wild next to the beer? Swollen thumbs next to the hammers?

    The world is a dangerous place. Sooner or later it’s going to catch up with even innocent little suzie and it’s going to kill her- just like it’s going to kill us all. If it isn’t the cigarettes, maybe it’ll be the gas pedal on someone’s Prius.

  • tb

    There is nothing good about smoking. Nothing. at. all. They will kill you faster than a donut.

  • north heights res

    Thanks, nabeguy–but he’s a she. =)

    And yes, exactly, not defending smoking, but agree with Willowtown Cop about the self-righteousness. Also have a hard time with the apparent unwillingness of people to assume responsibility for their bad habits. Anyone who doesn’t know by now that smoking is bad for you and you shouldn’t do it has way bigger problems than smoking.

    It’s certainly not the responsibility of Montague Bagels to point out the hazards of a product they sell–or else they’d need to post a billboard-size warning about the bacon/egg/cheese bagels to which I occasionally treat myself there.

  • ABC

    I suspect the city is trying to discourage shop owners from selling cigarettes.

  • Dan Clemente

    Why can restaurants and bars just carry those new Crown7 electric cigarettes I keep seeing in all these establishments that I go too. Apparently they only emit water vapor but you can still get your nic fix.