Candy Cigarettes used to be sold at every novelty store, but now there’s a fine of $500 to sell them in St. Paul, Minnesota, which tells you how far things have changed.
Lynden’s Soda Fountain, which is an old-fashioned soda shop, was warned by a city inspector to discontinue selling the old-school candy or pay the consequences.
The Star Tribune reported on Wednesday that the offering violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy smokes and cartoon character lighters, which has been in place for nearly three years.
According to a city spokesman, they received a complaint about the presence of the tobacco-themed products, and that is why they issued the warning.
Candy cigarettes were officially banned by the Food and Drug Administration in June 2009.
Shop owner Tobi Lynden says the white candy sticks with the red tips were her best-selling candy item, but she pulled them to avoid running afoul of the ordinance.
“We got busted by the City of St. Paul. Oops,” the shop tweeted on December 19.
Lynden told the Star Tribune that nearly all of the candy cigarette purchases were made by adults. “Oh, I had these when I was little,” she said she would often hear.
“We weren’t trying to promote smoking or tobacco use of any kind,” Lynden added.