Good lord. They still sell candy cigarettes.
I found these at a hot dog and burrito establishment near the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey. It’s the kind of place that sells its own brand of orange soda bearing labels that look like they were affixed in one of the apartments out back, evenings during re-runs of “Family Guy.”
You can find this little lunch spot that serves breakfast all day (roll with butter — 99 cents) by driving past the wig shop, the “tobacco” store with the front window filled with giant bongs, er, I mean “hookahs,” and the tattoo parlor.
At this little hole in the wall, they serve your French fries on your Taylor ham and American cheese sandwich, and you can buy ratty T-shirts that appear to have been pre-worn during a misspent summer with the cast of “Jersey Shore,” for 10 bucks.
At the top of the vast candy display next to the Necco wafers were the candy cigarettes, which surprised me because I had no idea that either were still manufactured. In fact, I thought that candy cigarettes had been banned, perhaps having read this in Fast Company two years ago.
Candy-flavored cigarettes have officially been banned as part of the larger Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act.
But it turns out that Fast Company and I were both mistaken, as the ban simply prevents tobacco companies from adding flavoring other than menthol to regular cigarettes. It does nothing to prevent the sale of boxes of candy that look like boxes of cigarettes.
Still, few stores carry the bubble gum designed to look like cancer sticks anymore. Probably because most parents share the opinion of candy cigs that was best described by one Amazon reviewer as “a diabolical product.”
Normally, one has to watch an episode of Scooby-Doo to find the word “diabolical,” so this was, to me, a delicious find. The candy cigarettes, however, were not, as I chose not to purchase any for my children. Nor a hookah (nah, you’re a bong), tattoo or a wig. But I will take my teens there for the orange soda and burritos. Mmmm.
Have you seen candy cigarettes in stores lately?