The NYC Department of Health has taken an aggressive approach to promoting the benefits of not smoking. This week, it focused on how a pack of cigarettes will now cost over $9, thanks to a federal excise tax, and offered free nicotine patches for the day to help encourage smokers to break the habit.

The Health Department also revealed the latest in its provocative anti-smoking advertisements. After previously featuring a man whose larynx was removed and a woman whose fingers were amputated (due to smoking-related illness), the new commercial features a little boy who starts crying when he's separated from his mother and asks, "If this is how your child feels after losing you for a minute, just imagine if they lost you for life.”

While some people wonder if this heart string-tugging ad is effective—or exploitative, advertising agency founder Donny Deutsch told Matt Lauer on the Today show the ad was brilliant: "A great ad is a one-on-one sales pitch. Say you smoke. If I said to you, ‘Matt, stop smoking, it’s going to hurt your lungs.’ But if I say, ‘Hey, Matt, you’ve got kids, how about if your boy’s team won a Little League game without his dad?’, that’s going to get to you." And in spite of a little boy being made to cry for the commercial, Deutsch said, "Kids are very good actors. Maybe sometimes they make a kid cry, but if it saves 20,000 lives for five seconds of crying, I’ll take it."

The ad was made in Australia for Cancer Council Victoria, whose spokesperson gave some insight about the ad's production to the Daily News. Besides child protection officers being on set and all others in the ad being actors, Edwina Pearce explained, "We didn't do anything dastardly to make him cry. He did get upset, but it was about a 10-second period that he was upset for and then his mother came back and gave him a big cuddle and everything was happy again... When the ad was shown here, we had the biggest number of calls to our local quit-smoking help line. The most important thing to us is that the ad inspires people to quit smoking."

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said in a press release, "When parents smoke, they put their child's future in danger. Every parent fears dying young and leaving children behind, but parents who smoke are more likely to have this nightmare come true. Smoking can kill you and it can harm your child as well."