The C-Note Lady

"Tickets To The Heaven" Series.
"Tickets To The Heaven" Series.
"Tickets To The Heaven" Series.
"Tickets To The Heaven" Series.
"Tickets To The Heaven" Series. Just an idea and it is not finalized yet.
"Tickets To The Heaven" Series. Just an idea and it is not finalized yet.
This is what Camel C-Notes look like. Anyone wants to contribute some for my art project?
This is what Camel C-Notes look like. Anyone wants to contribute some for my art project?

--I figured if I can't do anything about my husband's nasty habit then I must done something to his Camel C-Notes....


I've been collecting Camel C-Notes for the past three months. This little piece of 1.5 x 2.75 inches coupon also called "Camel Cash" and it used to be included with most type of Camel cigarette packages. C-Note comes various type of designs and colors. Some designs were distributed in certain years for special promotions so they are rare and hard to find now. Each of C-Note worths 1 Camel buck and can be used to exchange some company gifts, or even a dozen of cigarettes. Camel distributes special catalog offering smokers to send their collected C-Notes to redeem prizes, from a small lighter to a Jukebox. The tobacco company has used this C-Note campaign for Camel Brand cigarettes in the U.S. for decades.

Unlike most coupons, C-Note doesn't have expiration date. However, the redemption has already expired on March 31, 2007. I was not aware of that until about half year ago, I found my husband's C-Notes spreading all over several of his tool boxes and storage cases, I decided to request a catalog from Camel to redeem some prizes and I found that these glossy and colorful papers are no longer worth anything. 

I am not a smoker but my husband is. He is a Camel patron ever since he was in China. My very first time seeing a bunch of colorful Camel C-Notes was in my husband's condo. That time we were just dating for a month. He invited me to the place he lived and showed me his sculpture work. I found these white, blue or green tickets spreading around every corner of his condo. He told me that each piece of C-Note indicates 20 cigarettes from one whole package. I myself am a graphic designer and I have learned how successful the Camel ad campaign does in the commercial art industry. Camel advertising is well-known of using cartoon character (Camel Joe) and colorful graphic illustrations to promote cigarette products. From a designer's point of view it is a very brilliant approach for such a product that endanger people's health. It amazed me seeing how the advertising campaign efficiently applied to an actual customer like my husband. Right at that time he told me he was collecting these for "exchanging a T-shirt". I've roughly counted the C-Note that I can see around his room and there are already more than 200 of pieces in his collection.

After we have been engaged and got married then have children, my husband's Camel C-Note continuously spreading into our living area. He never had his T-shirt(s) redeem due to the catalog was hard to find and always "ran out" when he made a call to request. During these years he has also tried to quit smoking for many times. In the beginning I was really supportive and I have done my best to help my husband being through all kinds of quitting methods. Every time when he happily announced to me that he has already not smoking for how many weeks and days then several days later he went back to smoke, again. 

Seeing my husband fail to quit smoking sort of make me feel like catching him cheat. You smoke again? Yap...What are you going to do about it? Hit me? (Yes, I really done that when I caught him smoke again.) I wish I can do something better to help him but is quitting smoking supposed to be his job?

So I gave up. Doesn't mean I don't love him but I just don't feel like to kill myself dealing with this type of issue, period. 

O.K. Back to those expired Camel Cash. Eventually I searched through Internet and discovered that C-Notes used to be valuable among Camel patrons and many other cigarette lovers. You can really tell from some old forum posts discussing and inquiring about selling or trading these cartoon design tickets for money, gift cards and goods. I now still found people selling Camel catalog prizes on eBay. C-Notes are used to be one of the bidding items and now they become an extra bonus for the bidder and collectors. I even found some C-Note holders asking if anyone knows Camel will plan to have their C-Note promotion back again soon. There are some smokers still holding their expired C-Notes, desperately hoping and waiting the same old good offers coming back again in the future. 

I figured if I can't do anything about my husband's nasty habit then I must done something to his Camel C-Notes, the C-Notes that were supposed to turning into at least a dozen of T-shirts for the past 10 years. I told my husband the idea of making a series of art installation about Camel C-Notes, from an aspect of a designer and a non-smoker's point of view. He gave me all his C-Notes, around total 3,000 of pieces to begin with. 3000 of C-Notes actually don't look much. You can stuff all of them into a standard Zip Lock sandwich bag. However, this bag represents equal amount of 3000 packs, total 60,000 of cigarettes that has burned on this Earth. 

In terms of the sizes of C-Notes and the possible result of visual impact, I don't think 3,000 C-Notes are enough for making a strong statement. Therefore, I posted a note on Craigslist asking all C-Note owners to contribute their unwanted C-Notes to support my art project. I paid back every contributors' shipping postage, if they included return address. In the meantime I really didn't have idea what I want to do with those colorful tickets. But soon I received lots of replies and more than 2/3 of them are women. One very nice lady sent me more than 10,000 C-Note and asked me not to pay her back the postage. Having massive amount of C-Notes really inspire me working on large scale pieces. And very luckily I will have my first solo art exhibition in a local museum in March 2009.

Seeing Camel such a successful advertising campaign become history, I guess this must have something to do with current American economy. My husband eventually stop buying Camel for almost a year due to the rise of tobacco tax. He also found the hand-roll tobacco is half price cheaper than the name brand cigarettes so he has switched to that. He told me that hand-roll cigarette would allow him smoke under certain controls because he rolls up his own. This reminds me a classic Chinese joke talking about an opium smoker proudly announced to his friends and family: "Tell you what! I have finally quit smoking opium.... Now I smoke marijuana!"

Anyone wants to do something to your partner's precious C-Note collections? Let me know.

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Comments 20 comments

goldentoad profile image

goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

Wow, that's an amazing story. I remember as a teenager, people smoking camels for those c-notes. I had no idea that now they were worthless, but turning all that worthlessness into art is great. Good luck with the exhibit.

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 8 years ago from California Author

Thanks for dropping by. I really had a great time working on this project.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Hi yxhuang,

My late hubby smoked camels.  This was a fun read, and it would be wonderful to read a hub (with pictures) about your upcoming exhibition.

I wish you great success with it.  You must be so proud :)

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 8 years ago from California Author

Yes, Trish, I am planning on this. My exhibition will start on March 7th at Alameda Museum, Alameda, CA. There are lots of this and that need to be ready by the end of February so I recently have to stop my hub writings for this exhibition.

I'll post the concept of this exhibition on my hub soon I've it done. Ahhh~~ Million things to do starting this new 2009.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago

Well, I wish you the best. I'm sure it will be a huge success. The hub writing can wait. As you know, life has a way of interrupting things we enjoy doing :)

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 8 years ago from California Author

Thanks Trish. I am chopping my times into so many pieces and hopefully I am still able to feed my hub writings with a few crumb. ^_^

yxhuang profile image

yxhuang 7 years ago from California Author

Hi! Everyone. My installation project for the Camel C-Note is on. Please visit the hub at:

Jeff Squire 7 years ago

<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> For those of you who were unable to redeem C-Notes, we have been retained by a client who over the years collected many Camel Cash coupons. When Camel ended the Camel Cash promotion in March 2007, and he tried to exchange his coupons for merchandise, he was told he was out of luck: no merchandise was available. He is planning a class action suit against Camel and would appreciate your help, either with information or by joining with him in the class action. The lawyers will work on a contingent basis so you will have no responsibility for any fees or any expenses. Please let us know if you will join with us or have any questions or information. Thank you, Jeffrey Squire (squire (at) bragarwexler (dot) com).

JT Smith 7 years ago

If you still need more I have just about 500 (450+)

You can contact me at

Jimi 6 years ago

Have very many c-notes. Probably couple thousand. If you are interested you can e-mail me

sam  5 years ago

I just sold my grandmas house out and fount a few thousand c notes, if u want them

Tammy 5 years ago

I have 78 of them I just came across while cleaning out some old things. Let me know if you are interested -


Dustyn 4 years ago

Yo I got like 300 c notes if you want them get ahold of me 5099361761

DannyVoid 4 years ago

i have a nice zip-lock bag full of those previously desired c-notes in which i have accumulated over my teen years. cant get rid of them haha.

so, if you still need them let me know. 4 years ago

I have about 50. Would you like them?


Nat LaCroix 4 years ago

I hope when you have finished your artistic creation withthese 'Camel Cash' coupons will share it with us.

I.Myself, have taken an old wooden silverware box- and used Modpodge(a decopage mixture) to cover the entire box with 'CamelCashCoupons'As I am still a smoker-that's what I use to keep lighters, cigarettes and and a bunch of other things in.

I always know where they're at that way and it's very artistically appealing.

Good Luck with your endeaver...Nat

rich 4 years ago

Would love to have a handfull of those c notes for i am a collector of cigarette items!!!!

ERIN 3 years ago

My ex used to smoke Camels like crazy. We had (NO JOKE): Camel mugs, Camel 8 pack soft cooler rectangular and Camel can holder that was long slim that fit over your chest (great for taking beers on bike rides lol). Camel leather backpack (Still got it), Camel beach towels, Camel ashtray shaped like a pool rack, Camel ashtray regular glass w/ Joe Camels face, Camel T-shirts, Camel Lanterns (did not work), Camel lighters. Camel fancy tins. We were saving up for a "TRIP" somewhere like New Orleans which yes you could take with like 15,000 miles. Anyway, we split up and I still have a tin of Camel miles or Camel cash or Camel C-Notes whatever theyr'e called but I will hold onto them.... my ex got all the Camel stuff cept the tin and the backpack (Really nice one). Me, I don't smoke cigs!

Holly 3 years ago

I was cleaning out my mothers things and I found tons of these C notes and Marlboro Miles. I was bummed to hear that you can not longer redeem them. I am not a smoker and did not realized this. It is a good thing but too bad my mother saved all of these for no reason. I hate to throw them away but I guess their future will be the dump.

lloyd smith 2 years ago

I have a lot of c note if you need more thousand or more I hate to thow them away.

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