Growing up in the 1980’s I consider myself a member of one of the greatest generations of all time. Let’s face it, we got all the best toys, all the best cartoons, ketchup as a vegetable and of course we were the last generation to really have all the bad influences of the generations before us. The 1980’s were the last vestiges of a time without political correctness, common sense and general human decency. The 1980’s also marked another milestone, the last era of the Candy Cigarettes… Sort of.

Maybe we didn’t have the Marlboro Man doing commercials on the TV, but we had Spuds McKenzie and Joe Camel telling us it was cool to smoke and drink. And remember kids if you smoke and drink enough and save your boxtops you can mail away for a Camel drink koozie or a Spuds McKenzie plush doll. Was that a good thing? I dunno, I always thought poor Joe Camel got a bad wrap.

One thing was for certain though, candy cigarettes were a leftover idea from years gone by the wayside, yet in the 1980’s they were one of the most common candies at your local gas station. I remember vividly going to the local Convenience Store (That was actually the name of this gas station) and getting candy smokes, Boston Baked Beans and Alexander the Grapes. Oh and Lemonheads, can’t forget those!

Of those though, the candy cigarettes were obviously the ones that seem out of place. What purpose do candy cigarettes serve? I don’t know if it was direct advertisement to smoke, but it certainly made you want to. When I played plots as a kid, having a couple of packs of candy smokes could make all the difference. If I was playing as a tough or edgy character, he smoked. Because all tough guys smoke. I had years of television, movies and comic books to tell me that much!

I was surprised to find that candy cigarettes still exist! Incredibly they remain largely unchanged from their vintage counterparts. Sure, they no longer say cigarettes, opting instead for just “candy sticks” or “candy” but it’s pretty clear these are still the same as they always were.

Heck they still got the knockoff cigarette brands like Lucky Lights and Target, two takes on the old Lucky Strike brand. Amazingly the sticks still have a “lit” end with a faint red dot. Gee, what is that supposed to be?

Despite the fact that the idea of candy cigarettes is absolutely absurd and probably a bad influence on kids, I’m pretty content that these guys still exist. In case you’re curious, yes they still taste like a combination of Pepto Bismol and Chalk and I love them for it. I’ve eaten a whole box while writing this “review” of these guys. They’re grotesque, yummy and promoting lung cancer!

According to the ingredients they’re just sugar, corn starch, tapioca, gelatin and “artificial flavors” but they taste like sweet memories to me. They also apparently have no nutritional value whatsoever, but I think that’s just keeping them authentic. So smoke em’ if you got em’, or at least eat em’ if you got em’!

5 Responses to Candy Cigarettes – Taste The Tobacco Memories

  • mysterylad says:

    Many an unfortunate imaginary goon met his demise staring down the barrel of my ping-pong ball pistol whilst I grimly chewed on a candy cigarette…

  • gunzlingr says:

    These can still be had at the local grocery. My kids love them as much as I did at there age.

  • Yeah same here.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    This is the first time I've actually seen or heard of these. Neat! I liked to use Stella D'oro breadsticks as cigars, myself. LOL! When I was very little, I would imitate my parents by taking an orange Tic-Tac every night at bedtime. I'm 38 now and on four different kinds of meds. Not nearly as fun as pretending when you're a kid, that's for sure!

  • First off, your story about the Tic-Tacs is hilarous! It makes me think of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" song. One pill makes you larger / And one pill makes you small / And the ones that mother gives you / Don't do anything at all…

    Secondly, you never heard of candy cigarettes?! Wow. Well I'm glad to have enlightened you. They were a staple of my youth. And apparently a staple of my… whatever the heck I'm in now. LOL!

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