The Controversial Candy Cigarettes

candy cigaretes

Of all the crazy things that mankind has invented, this one literally takes the cake. However, there are indeed some existing justifications for the invention of the catchy and controversial candy cigarettes. We will be laying down the entire controversy as well as the justifications for this invention in this post as we examine the weird history of candy cigarettes.

Candy cigarettes were first introduced to the US market in the early 1930s. At the time, smoking had not yet been recognized as the health risk that it is seen as today—justification number 1. Thus, parents did not think much of letting their kids pretend to smoke with these candy imitations of cigarettes.

And then the 1950s rolled around—the decade the controversy began. In this decade and the one after it, the initial health reports on the risks and dangers of smoking were put out. These were all the red alerts that parents needed to realize that there was something wrong indeed with allowing kids to “smoke” candy cigarettes.

In the 21st century that we live in today, it certainly sounds like terrible parenting to permit your kids to have any kind of cigarettes, real or fake, in any way, shape, or form. This is what makes the phenomenon so controversial because the times were so different back then. Another justification, however, for their production and release into the market is that candy cigarettes are just candy. They’re 100% fake cigarettes and 100% made of sugar. They are basically candy made out of chalky sugar, bubblegum, or chocolate, wrapped in paper, and packaged and branded to resemble cigarettes.

Nevertheless, more arguments arose against these so-called “candies” to trump these justifications. For starters, the manufacturers used to make these imitation candies so realistically, modeling the candy cigarette brands after real cigarette companies. For example, the Malboro cigarette brand was remodeled into Marlboro Candy Cigarettes as its sugary imitation. Furthermore, some products also contain powdered sugar hidden in the wrapper, allowing the user to blow into the cigarette and produce a cloud of sugar that imitates smoke, which comes out of the other end. This made the candy cigarette “smoking” experience even more real.

Candy cigarette

These manufacturing details, coupled with the fact that for over two decades, parents had more or less sanctioned these candy cigarettes, sparked a worry in parents that their children would be more likely to pick up the habit of smoking real cigarettes as adults as they had been desensitized to the action as kids. And apparently, studies have revealed this fear to have come to fruition. Many kids who “smoked” packs of Marlboro or Viceroy, or Winston candy cigarettes ended up becoming real smokers later in life.

A 1990 study found that sixth-graders who ate candy cigarettes were twice as likely to smoke cigarettes as those who did not eat candy cigarettes. A 2007 study surveyed 25,887 adults and found that “candy cigarette consumption was reported by 88% of both current and former smokers and 78% of never smokers“, a statistically significant difference that the authors suggested indicates a connection between candy cigarette consumption as a child and smoking as an adult.

Evidence also sprung up that the manufacturers of candy cigarettes actually worked with real cigarette companies to attract young smokers. However, this was not substantially proven at the time.

Following the widespread realization of the dangers of smoking in the 1950s and the years following that, the political reaction was quite astonishing. Despite the mass disapproval expressed by millions of parents across America against these imitation products, only the state of North Dakota proactively banned the sale of candy cigarettes. And this ban only lasted for 14 years, between the years 1953 and 1967.

National bans were indeed considered in the United States, both in 1970 and 1991, but neither ban was passed. However, the mass disapproval of these products did not have zero effects. Following the 1970 ban consideration, candy cigarette manufacturers ceased the use of the word “cigarette” on the packaging of their products, replacing it with the word “sticks.” This was in a bid to reduce the desensitization effect of the product. Unfortunately, “candy sticks” still could not get rid of the bad rep that they had already gained in the minds of parents.

Candy Cigarettes Today

Even though the idea that kids were allowed to imitate smoking in the past sounds pretty strange to us today, candy cigarettes have not exactly gone extinct yet. Yes, they are more difficult to find than they were decades ago. In fact, many countries have completely banned the sale of candy cigarettes. These include Brazil, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Qatar, Turkey, Thailand, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and other countries and territories.

In countries where candy cigarettes have not been banned, you can only mostly find them to purchase online. And since you have to be at least 18 to have a credit card for online purchases, parents and adults now have a lot more control over whether or not their children have access to these candies than when kids in the 1930s and ’40s could save up their nickels and dimes to purchase the candies from their neighborhood market.

Nevertheless, many adults today still have lingering memories of falling in love with candy cigarettes. Some admit that as kids, they “smoked” candy cigarettes to act cool, just like the older people they would see smoking cigarettes on the street. Some divulge that their nostalgia comes from the fact that candy cigarettes were their first cigarettes, and they can never forget the sweet-spicy taste of them. Some reveal that they did love candy cigarettes, but they never did become real smokers—probably because they got it all out of their systems with the candy as kids haha!

Bubble Gum Cigarette

10 Candy Cigarette Brands that Still Exist Today.

Today, many people still buy candy cigarettes as a gift to someone looking to kick the habit or simply as a reminder of yesteryears. Here is a list of 10 candy cigarette brands that still exist today!

World’s “King Size” Candy Cigarettes

Candy cigarette

These World Size Candy Cigarettes have brought sugary joy to countless generations. They still exist today, so you and I have the opportunity to try a piece of candy that our parents or even our grandparents may have enjoyed! This brand of candy cigarettes is made by the original manufacturer. Although it has been sold for quite some time, the formula remains the same as it ever was.

Bubble Gum Candy Cigarettes

Bubble Gum Cigarette

The original candy cigarette, Bubble Gum Candy Cigarettes, has been imitated but has never been surpassed. They remain just as addictive—in a good way, of course. Bubble Gum Candy Cigarettes look super-duper real, but they only puff out sugar! It’ll be like you’re smoking a real cigarette, but it tastes like bubblegum.

Chocolate Candy Cigarettes

Chocolate Candy cigarette

Chocolate Candy Cigarettes are a deliciously edgy treat packaged in realistic cigarette wrappers. They make a great gag gift or a tasty treat for someone trying to kick the habit. They consist of sweet sticks made of 100% Belgian milk chocolate.

Black Licorice Pipes

Cigar Pipes

Did you know licorice root has been used for medicinal purposes for over 3000 years? In many cultures, the root has been used to ease sore throats and pesky coughs. That said, black licorice tends to be a pretty divisive flavor. But the people who love it really love it! And if you’re one of those people, then chances are that you have been on the lookout for a way to bring a little more black licorice goodness into your life. Well, Black Licorice Pipes are a surefire way to the heart of any black licorice fan!

Red Cherry “La Pipette” Licorice Pipes

Candy Pipes

Red Cherry Licorice Pipes are a unique and delicious treat. They are the perfect candy for any licorice lover, and these licorice treats are original, so they’re made of the highest quality ingredients!

El Bubble II Bubble Gum Cigars

Bubble Gum Cigar

There are candy cigarettes, so of course, there’d be candy cigars too!

El Bubble II Bubble Gum Cigars are the “next generation” of the beloved multi-colored and fruit-flavored cigars and were the first bubble gum item to retail for a nickel when all other products sold for a penny, making them controversial long before cigars were considered controversial! These Bubble Gum cigars come in a delicious assortment of grape, orange, and strawberry cigars, each known as El Bronco, Wild Tiger, and Mad Bull, respectively.

It’s a Girl “El Bubble” Bubble Gum Cigars

Bubble Gum Cigars

Imagine doing a gender reveal for your baby girl using candy cigars. Well, that’s the idea behind this version of “El Bubble” Bubble Gum Cigars. It’s the most adorable and delicious way to share your good news with all of your nearest and dearest, and it’ll take your announcement to the next level!

Hotlix Hot! Cinnamon Toothpicks

Cinnamon Toothpicks

Cinnamon toothpicks are the old-fashioned way to quit smoking and lose weight. They provide a flavorful treat without sugar, calories, or chemicals. Back in the day, people dipped toothpicks in cinnamon oil to create these useful treats. But that’s too messy. Hence the invention of these Hot! Cinnamon Toothpicks by Hotfix.

Hotlix Cool! Mint Toothpicks

Hotlix Cool! Mint Toothpicks

Hotlix Cool! Mint Toothpix is an old-fashioned yet still refreshing way to enjoy a treat without sugar or chemicals. Regular toothpicks were traditionally soaked in flavored oils to create this retro treat. They were then chewed to ward off cravings and help with weight loss and smoking cessation. This modern version eliminates the work and the mess of all that, and they come packaged in convenient re-sealable plastic tubes.

Cinna-Pix Cinnamon Toothpicks

Cinna-Pix Cinnamon Toothpicks

Cinna-Pix Cinnamon Toothpicks are a delicious, one-of-a-kind twist take on the regular toothpick. They’re a great way to help freshen your breath as well as a tasty way to help you “curb the urge” and quit smoking.