Do you remember candy cigarettes?
I can vividly remember where they were located in our local candy store—all the way in the back right corner tucked safely next to Big League Chew and Nerds Ropes. The colors of the different boxes enamored me leaving me the tough choice of having to pick only one.
Lucky Lights had the best box colors by far—between the yellow horseshoe, green four-leaf clover, and bold red text, it was a box to be messing with.
Kings reminded me of my grandfather who always had a pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes stuffed into his work shirt front pocket.
Round Up always felt like they were perfect for some Clint Eastwood cowboy character who’s trying to kick his bad habit and pick up a sweeter one.
Nonetheless, candy cigarettes are one of those sweets that we all remember from childhood, whether mom let you get them or not. It doesn't matter if you are 16 or 60, we all have some memory of candy cigarettes and as it turns out, this candy icon has a very interesting history that we thought you should know.
5 things you should know about Candy Cigarettes.
1. Candy Cigarettes were started by the Hershey Corporation.
The year was 1920, and the Hershey Corporation was looking to capitalize on its newfound fame in the chocolate world. As part of their growth, they sought out new ways to mold their candy into household objects that people found familiar. Things like tricycles and other kid's toys were original developments, which were quickly followed by the Chocolate Candy Cigarette.
With its dark interior and white outer-wrapper, these chocolate treats looked similar to that of the actual thing and had kids of every age clamoring over them. At a time when most adult Americans were smoking cigarettes without knowing the health issues, children were looking for ways to mimic their parents, and the chocolate cigarette was the closest thing.
You can still get them at certain candy stores (hint hint) if you know where to look.
2. In 1930, Hard Candy Cigarettes hit the confectionery market.
While the chocolate cigarette was the original, many candy makers saw the potential in turning the chocolate recipe into something more durable like hard candy. After trying a few variations, confectioners found that a mixture of sugar, corn starch, tapioca, beef gelatin, and artificial flavor would result in a hard candy that could be shaped just like a cigarette.
While these brands were not endorsed by cigarette companies, they did however use a lot of their image and likeness to promote their sweet treat with the hopes of catching the eyes of aspiring smokers.
3. Just Like Daddy was one of the most famous and popular candy cigarettes back in the ‘30s and ‘40s.
There are a lot of different companies that have made candy cigarettes over the years, but one that took hold of candy lovers when they hit the market was Just Like Daddy. Between their box design and catchy slogan, “reach for a pack, just like daddy” they dominated the shelves for decades.
During this time, some cigarette companies took these candy makers to court, hoping to separate themselves from the candy distinction, which eventually led to the off-branding of all candy cigarettes.
For example—Marboro, Winstun, Kamel, and Lucky Stripe were all off-brand versions of popular cigarette companies. Meanwhile, other brands allowed the candy makers to continue using their image and likeness citing it helped business in the long run.
4. Early versions of candy cigarettes blew smoke.
Now when we say this, we're not talking about actual smoke here, we’re talking about powdered sugar. In the early days of candy cigarettes, makers would add extra powdered sugar to the top of the sticks so that consumers could blow it off, leaving behind a smoke-like effect. This effect became popular amongst consumers, but the practice was left behind as candy companies upped production of candy cigarettes and cut that out of the process.
5. North Dakota is the only state to ban candy cigarettes.
As you can imagine, not everyone loves candy cigarettes, and in 1953 the state of North Dakota decided that nobody was allowed to consume candy cigarettes inside their state lines. This lasted for 14 years until it was overturned in 1967.
Similarly, the U.S. government also considered putting a ban on candy cigarettes in 1970 and 1991 but they never passed through voting—though in the same year, they did remove the word “cigarette” from the name and changed it to “stick”.
Grab a few for yourself!
There you have it—5 facts about candy cigarettes that you can now share with some of your candy-loving friends! And if you were wondering where you can get your hands on a few packs of these classic candy cigarettes, look no further.
Until next time!