Do you remember bubble gum cigars? Kids like me loved them. The only problem was that parents didn’t like them at all. These candy products were extremely popular with kids and that is no surprise seeing many of these kids went on to smoke as adults.
The packaging was very similar to real cigars and cigarettes and because many kids parents smoked back then the kids took up the candy cigars quickly.
When you first opened the cigar gum they would be individually wrapped giving the kids a chance to play with the “fake cigars” a little while before consuming the product.
While most cigar gum brands had the same basic design, other forms of candy like candy cigarettes offered additional features to make them seem real. They would add a thin layer of powdered sugar between the candy and wrapper, so when a kid would blow air through the candy it would simulate a real smoking cigarette. Some of the fake cigarette candies would color the tip red to show that they were lit.
Since this type of sweet confectionery is promoting these harmful health items to kids, opponents of bubble gum cigarettes were numerous from the moment they started becoming popular all across the world. The pressure from the public and several commissioned examinations of their impact on kids (none with conclusive results) caused bubble gum cigarettes to become much more regulated than other candy products.
In many countries modern gum cigars have to have specific markings and warning signs on their packaging, their promotion is limited, and the final design of the edible product has to fit with the rules (or common practices). For example, bubble gum cigarettes with red colored tips are very rare because manufacturers do not want to emulate cigar designs so much in fear of causing a public reaction from parents.
Parent reactions shaped much of the history of bubble gum cigarettes. Pressures from the public that lasted almost throughout entire 2nd half of 20th century caused smaller sales and a reduced number of new designs while the promotion and sales were severely limited or even completely blocked in several countries. For example, candy cigarettes are banned in countries such as Brazil, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the entire city of Singapore (except when prescribed by doctors), while partial bans are present in Canada (where candy cigars cannot resemble actual tobacco cigar brands) and New Zealand.
Even now candy cigars of all types are getting a negative reputation from the general public, where parents do not want their kids to get attached to the candies that promote items or substances that are dangerous to their health.
Greg Elam –
Content Writer – Windy City Cigars