Whatever happened to …

… candy cigarettes?

Actually, according to this article from Mashed, they still are around. So, your humble reporter did his research to see. That involved a trip to one Sobeys, two corner convenience stores, and a quick look through a candy store at the mall in Windsor. I couldn’t find anything. Maybe it’s not a Canadian thing.

Actually, I thought it was a genius piece of marketing done TO me growing up. In my town, so many older people smoked. The high school, in fact, had a smoking corner just off the property where students could have a smoke and not be on school property where it would have been an offence. So, why not generate a product that young me could actually use and prepare me to buy the product later in life?

I never understood the lure of real cigarettes until I was older and learned what addiction was about. As kids, we each chipped in a few dimes and nickels and bought and shared a package of real cigarettes once. Bleh! I don’t even recall more than a puff or two. This wasn’t for me.

That was back in the day when your parents could send you to a store to buy them cigarettes from the vendor or through a vending machine and nobody thought twice about it.

Microsoft Paint concept of a candy cigarette

But, we could buy candy cigarettes. They came packaged exactly like real cigarettes. The neat part was that the little sticks looked like the real thing. They were cylindrical, white, and had a spot of read and black on the end to resemble a real burning cigarette. The other good thing was that they they came in a number to a package so you could easily share with friends if you were so inclined. You could even pass one around just like parents and high school kids did. The bad thing is that I don’t recall them being particularly tasty or sweet like you’d expect candy to be. I’d never really wanted to smoke but all the cool kids had candy cigarettes so I “smoked” with them. 

And, just like parents who could drive and smoke, we could ride our bicycles and “smoke”. Thinking back, we must have looked really stupid.

But, time and progress and being aware of things have made things change. Sadly, at least in my part of the world, kids can’t imitate parents any more by smoking candy cigarettes. That’s probably a good thing.

How about you?

  • can you buy candy cigarettes in your area?
  • do you remember “smoking” them as a child?
  • how would you describe the taste?
  • did you have a desire to be older and really smoke like high school kids and adults did?
  • can you remember buying real cigarettes for your parents? What brand?
  • do you remember the cigarette machines where you didn’t even have to ask for them at a counter?
  • can you think of a product today for kids that resembles something that adults use that grooms them for later purchase?
  • does your local high school have a smoking area where the cool kids go to smoke?

Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday morning post around here. You can read all of the past ones here.


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