Clampdown on candy cigarettes

An old-timey soda shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been busted for selling candy cigarettes.

Lynden's, on Hamline Avenue near Cretin-Derham Hall High School, said a city inspections official came in last week and gave the shop a warning and added that a misdemeanor citation -- with a $500 fine -- would be next if the non-carcinogenic confections continue to be sold.

The sugary sticks were recently banned in the city, which would prefer that you just shop at Amazon.


  1. but plastic guns for all the children, are cool, right?  but then, they’d probably have to outlaw all the shooter video games too…

    1. I strongly suspect that candy cigarettes are not a major gateway to smoking the real thing(though, in environments where the real thing enjoys cultural status, consumption of the kiddie version by pre-users would be expected as a symptom of that cultural status); but the epidemiology of your analogy just seems a few orders of magnitude off…

      Estimated smoking-related mortality in the US is something in the vicinity of 440,000/year. Estimated firearms mortality is something slightly north of 30,000/year, over half of that suicide(which guns certainly do make easier and more effective, for good or ill).

      Firearms are a lot flashier about it; but smoking is rather more of a menace. Whether the plastic/candy versions of either are usefully related to the real thing is another question.

      1. Your strong suspicion may well be incorrect: there’s a fair bit of evidence that big tobacco was very favourably disposed to candy cigarettes and engaged in the usual sabotage of research that connected candy cigarette consumption with that of their real counterparts.
        Of course, that big tobacco should be lying and evil all the time is not a necessary truth, but if I ever found myself in agreement with them it would raise a fucking big red flag, to put it mildly.

        1. Big tobacco would probably spend big to silently promote candy cigarettes and also sabotage any query into the effects of such a product regardless of whether it was to their benefit to promote them or if the studies bore out no causal or other relationship to actual cigarette usage.

          Because Silence is Golden among those with the Gold.

      1. Welllll Poop! i guess it’s the caffeine that relaxes the esoophageal sphincter, and THAT’S what makes me blame the cola.

  2. Why is Minnesota so weird with the laws? Every time I turn around they’re passing another off-the-wall law, most of which are probably unconstitutional.

    1.  Someone had a comment upthread about how the Twin Cities are actually more like a crotchety old man and a liberal undergraduate.  If true, that may have something to do with it.

  3. I like the comment at the article that “I just finished a bag of gummy bears and now I can’t stop thinking about where to get a real bear to eat”. Classy.

    1. It’s a language problem — try re-executing the original comment given 250-kilo multihued tetrapod spongiform translucent predator bots roaming the woods.

  4. Figures that it’s St. Paul. I know we’re called the “Twin” Cities, but St. Paul’s really a crochety old man.

    To be fair, my fine city of Minneapolis is something like an obnoxious liberal arts school hipster in that comparison, fixie and all.

    EDIT: I just read in the article that the ordinance came about because it was “championed” by a couple of teenagers in an anti-tobacco group. They’ve got to be a riot at parties.

    1. You never know, they might be single-issue teetotalers… 

      If I’ve learned anything from hilarious political sex scandals, it’s that a guy who is against candy cigarettes in public may very well have a stash of drugs so hardcore that most people have never heard of them.

    2. I seem to recall this ordinance getting passed when I was in high school in the late 80’s.  I could be wrong, but it was the “in” thing for municipalities to do back then.  

  5. Look at the list of ingredients in those candy cigarettes:  sugar, corn syrup, corn starch, tapioca, gelatin, artificial flavors, artificial colors fd&c red #40.

    Clearly the real crime here is encouraging the pretend consumption of substances that are harmful to your body.

  6. Kind of a dumb law. I can see people not wanting kids to get indoctrinated into the smoking life, but I’d gotten the impression that smoking has become so unpopular that most kids wouldn’t get into candy cigarettes anyway. They’re just chalky sticks of sugar paste.

    1.  I remember the chalky, wintergreen flavored candy cigarettes fondly. They were sweet and delicious in their own way, something I found that cigarettes were not. If anything, candy cigarettes served as a contrast to the real thing that helped me be very unimpressed by tobacco as a kid.

    2. Hey, kid, I know a guy who can hook you up with a chalky stick of sugar paste that the man doesn’t want you to have…

    1. Because freedom!

      But I’m surprised these things still exist.  When I was a kid they were popular, because smoking was cool and glamorous.  Today, not so much.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to put eurpoean-style warnings on them, with cancer patients and photos of black lungs?

        1. “Shane’s dentist don’t work too hard,
          always at the pub,
          Shane says he ain’t comin’ back,
          till they’re down to a nub!” (repeat 14,000x)

          1. If only we could get a Mojo Nixon reference at boingboing more as much as the Westboro Baptist Church

        1. Yeah it’s pretty cool. 

          As an adult you get to indulge without kidding yourself, which is pleasurable.

          As for kids, they just can’t see smoking as the thing to do wen they see those pictures.

          Though some teenagers are immune and there always will be those. 

          I especially like the way that al the cigarette displays are whited out and hidden. 

      1. Wouldn’t they more likely be marketed to adults as an old-timey nostalgia candy from their childhoods rather than to actual children?  Look at the packages, they don’t even look like modern cigarette pack designs.

    1. Somebody who remembered Joseph Crétin, who was the first Catholic bishop of St. Paul. Which unfortunately leads to a completely different set of jokes.

    1.  I agree about the syrup bottles, but remain fondly nostalgic about circus peanuts and how terrible they are.

      We should also get rid of those stupid satellite wafers/flying saucers. They don’t even taste like anything.

    2. WAx lips and red penny fish.  I lost a baby tooth to a red penny fish at the Saturady movie theater matinee.  Probably a godzilla movie.

      1. Would have been extra-embarrassing had it been Sullivan’s Travels.  ;^)

        I lost a perfectly grown-up tooth to a “mystery flavor” Airhead back in 2004 or so.  Had to sand down the jagged edge with sandpaper so it would stop poking my tongue.  My dental coverage is much better these days.

        As for the candy cigarettes, I always kinda liked ’em.  But I’ve smoked precisely one real cigarette in my life, a little over two years ago, just to see if the experience could possibly be any less foul and unappealing than I’d always suspected it must be… after all, plenty of otherwise intelligent and tasteful people do it, and they must get something out of ’em or they wouldn’t smoke twice.  But nope, it was nasty and made me slightly lightheaded, and the appeal continues to escape me.

        But those candy cigs are great.

        Now leave my circus peanuts alone.

  7. Wow, what a hardcore law… they even banned Big League Chew.  

    It was a staple of my youth baseball program back in the day, yet I never had one yearning for the real stuff. 

  8. I wish more candy cigarette boxes just got a redesign so they could still be sold more places. At least I can get “candy sticks” here in my town. Love those things.

  9. I remember how walking around with a candy cigarette made me feel very grown up when I was 10. As an actual candy, however, they were incredibly useless.

  10. As a kid, I always preferred bubblegum cigarettes to the candy version. The gum itself was dusted with something (probably corn starch) and wrapped with paper, so when you gave it a little blow the starch would puff out like smoke. Also, the gum tasted better than the starchy candy.

  11. I recall one year in grade school our teacher gave us all a pack of candy cigarettes for Christmas.   I still regard that as the strangest Christmas gift ever.

  12. I’m sure somebody has some hard anecdotal evidence to support the notion that candy cigarrette use leads to real cigarette use, but I find such conclusions retarded.

    For starters, they taste nothing like each other.

    Actually, that’s pretty much it.

  13. St. Paul should sure be more concerned with getting the crack out of FrogTown and the oxy outta the East Side. I just love all of these cute little laws that Minnesota is so obsessed with. Minnesota is the coolest state in the 48 but it is so darn phony sometimes. The Niceness is okay if you’re visiting but the passive agression will eventually annoy the heck outta ya.

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