Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Friday, November 26, 2004


Take a stroll down candy cigarette lane

No, that isn't an error on the package. This is the kiddy version of Camel cigarettes. Ahh, nothing like a glass of milk and an Acmel candy cigarette.

Now, I don't smoke. And I really couldn't care less if you want smoke till your teeth turn yellow, your lungs rot, and your wife and kids get cancer- as long as you follow any no smoking rules, don't blow the smoke in my direction, and pick up your butts. But still, I do think this kind of product is not a good idea.

Which is kind of odd really, because I remember thinking (for a short time), when I was a little kid, that candy cigarettes were the coolest thing around. I especially liked the kind that were made of gum and wrapped in paper to look like a real cigarette. You could put the "cigarette" in your mouth, blow on it, and the confectioners sugar on the gum would come out the other end like a puff of "smoke." Of course you only got one puff. Then you just unwrapped the thing and popped it in your mouth.

I guess, somewhere along the line, I grew up.

I really don't think that "smoking" candy/chocolate/gum cigarettes are going to make some child more likely to smoke the real thing once he gets old enough to sneak a cig from his parents pack or buy them for himself. More likely he'll end up lighting himself on fire or burning the house down trying to light the end of the candy cigarette with his parent's lighter.

But I do think the idea of brand advertising (albeit fake brands) an adult product to children just isn't right, especially in light of the fact that internal documents of the tobacco industry indicate that tobacco companies and candy makers cooperated in the design of candy cigarettes. The only obvious purpose in this is that cigarette manufactures wanted kids to be familiar enough with their products that they might pick up a pack if they got a chance. While not directly encouraging young people to smoke, the cigarette companies surely were hoping the kids would pick up a few cancer sticks at the earliest opportunity. Thankfully, most of the candy makers in the U.S. have discontinued their production of "cigarettes" for kids.

Still, even with all the above having been said, candy cigarettes do bring back some good memories. I remember summer afternoons hanging around not doing much and then hearing the ice cream truck several streets away. We kids would suddenly get in a panic as to whether we had enough money to indulge in a cool treat or a sugary snack. If we didn't, we'd run to the house screaming, "Mom!" Sometimes we were lucky and get back out of the house in time to chase down the ice cream truck shouting, "Stop, stop!" Sure you could always buy your own ice cream products by the box and store them in the freezer, but it just wasn't the same as hunting down the ice cream man and standing there staring through the window at all the cool, sugary goodness. Besides, those extra few yards the ice cream truck driver always seemed to make us run probably helped to keep us kids trim.

If you want to relieve a few memories yourself, click the pack above* for the big picture and a stroll down candy cigarette lane, or click here for more information about candy cigarettes.

(* That link is a bit of a bandwidth hog, so the images might take a while to load.)


At 7:20 AM, Blogger スロ / Bernat said...

They might get used to having a cigarrete on their hands, so it could make some effect


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