Back when I was still young, very young, Candy Cigarettes were a somewhat popular confection in my neighborhood. They were little piece of sugar shaped cylindrically so as to resemble a cigarette. They came in little packs shaped just like a cigarette pack, with the labels of brand name cigarettes painted on them. Other then the shape and labelling, there was nothing particularly cigarette like about them. They were just another form of sugar.

I remember once, right after my parents had divorced, when I was maybe six years old, buying a candy cigarette pack or borrowing one from a neighbor kid. My father was going to come back and visit, and since he was a smoker, I wished to look like I was smoking when he came back. When he saw me, he was horrified and told me that smoking was a horrible, dirty habit. I was a little confused, since he was a smoker.

It's hard to imagine in these days, when the tobacco companies are being sued over the slightest hint that advertising may be targeted to children, that only 15 years ago, children were recruited into being smokers in such blatant ways. Of course, even with the lack of clear societal messages about the filthiness of smoking, I never became a smoker.

As an update, it has been pointed out to me by several people that while candy cigarettes are no longer sold to children, they can still be purchased at several gift stores, sold to adults as novelty items, for the kitsch/nostalgia value. And as a further update, some people claim that they are able to purchase them at their neighborhood convenience store. I suppose more legal research must be done into the phenomenea of the candy cigarette.

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