Candy cigarettes, the best worst thing since Jarts

Originally published at:


I’m pretty sure that in the next year or two, the BoingBoing Store will start selling candy vapes every October.


Just like Daddy-o!


Are you saying they were a gateway candy?


First it’s candy cigarettes in the schoolyard. A few years later, they’re buying salmiakki from shady Finns and you’ll never get them back.


I can still remember the taste of candy cigs. I seem to recall that they also had a bit of red dye at the “lit” end for added realism.

And in addition to the candy, chocolate and bubblegum cigs, I had a pen in 4th grade that looked like a filter cigarette. The brown “filter” end was the cap of the pen. I spent most of that school year walking around with that thing in my mouth trying to look cool until one day when I accidentally swallowed the cap while in class. My teacher confiscated the pen and I never got another.

And yes, I started smoking for real when I was 13. I quit in 1975 at the age of 25 and never went back.


I remember a friend sharing some chocolate cigarettes during recess in middle school. They were rolled in paper from what i recall. Around my middle school years i also have a memory of a friend showing up to school with a fake cigarette, it looked exactly like the real thing and the front was painted to look like it was lit and seemed really convincing. I believe it was filled with talcum powder or some other powder and when you blew on it briefly it looked like a puff of smoke would come out of it. Was marketed as a kid’s prank toy.


To be fair, when these things came out, no one knew the health risks. Emulation of what adults do is pretty normal for kids. I remember imitating my mom with a straw or something.

Though I am willing to bet, more people started smoking because smoking was cool and normalized, vs candy cigarettes tempting them.


Just this past Saturday I saw evidence that some kid went cold turkey in Worcester, Massachusetts. Good for you!


I think perhaps ‘wonderfully appalling’ would be more apt.

Appallingly wonderful is a concept I’m having trouble getting my head around; I’d love to see an actual example.


The ‘good’ ones did…not the cheap knockoffs.

But they looked and tasted like chalk. Sweet chalk, but chalk nonetheless.

Never could understand why people liked them, and I grew up with two smokers (who quit in the 1970s finally).


I remember fondly the years of my three-packs-a-day candy cigarette habit, and how as I aged I had to switch over to harder and harder drugs to get my fix. Candy coins and candy corn… then candy bars and candy liquors … eventually I was snorting raw sugar. I finally got the help I needed when my friends found me lying in the gutter trying to lick clean the insides of an empty Dominoes bag.


Candy cigarettes were even worse than candy corn, tastewise. But they had the coolness factor.

We had a set of Jarts when I was a kid, btw. And those glass clackers that were banned once they figured out how deadly those were, too.


Do you honestly believe this?

Many of the health risks of tobacco have been known for centuries.

That said, I always liked the chocolate ones best. They left a very satisfying snap.


That was the beauty of the bubble gum ciggies – one could blow out a couple puffs of sugar smoke.


Untrue, buckaroo.

the study - published in the September 27 issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research - UCLA researchers examined dozens of internal tobacco industry documents made public after a 1998 court case, and found tobacco companies had known cigarette smoke contained potentially dangerous radioactive particles as early as 1959.

“They knew that the cigarette smoke was radioactive way back then and that it could potentially result in cancer, and they deliberately kept that information under wraps,” study author Dr. Hrayr S. Karagueuzian, professor of cardiology at UCLA’s cardiovascular research laboratory, said in a written statement. “We show here that the industry used misleading statements to obfuscate the hazard of ionizing alpha particles to the lungs of smokers and, more importantly, banned any and all publication on tobacco smoke radioactivity.”


Candy cigarettes are still available on amazon, and there’s a bit of competition.


From Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas In Wales the real value of candy cigarettes was getting in “trouble” for smoking.

And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it.


In fairness, do you think @Mister44 might have meant the general public?


Centuries? Source?

For sure the truth was hidden longer than it should have, but I don’t believe we had the evidence they were dangerous at all in like the 30s and 40s, etc.

Like I said - when they came out, which was earlier than 1959. Candy cigarettes came out in the 30s.

This isn’t the same thing as candy cigarettes in say the 1980s.