Tooth decay and lung cancer

I live about two miles from the town center. It’s quaint. You’ve seen a million places just like it. Little mom-n’-pop shops, restaurants, nice places to stroll. In the summer, they have weekend music festivals whereby local musicians play on the sidewalks. They are cleverly spaced apart and around corners so that no one performer interferes with another.

We took The Daughters for a walkabout. We listened to some weepy, sensitive singer-songwriter types and then got some ice cream at the local parlor. In addition to ice cream, they sell “vintage” candy. That’s not to say that the candy is old. It’s the kind of stuff that yuppies use to buy when they were kiddies.

I am happy to report that all of the tobacco products are still represented. Did you ever buy these bubblegum cigarettes? I sure did. If you take one out of the pack and gently blow into it, the powder from the gum will come out of the other end and it’ll look like smoke. It’s genius! If these are intended to be a gateway drug, they worked. I smoked for a few years when I got old enough to buy the real thing.

The “Victory” cigarettes are supposed to be Viceroy, the “Target” are supposed to be Lucky Strikes and “Round Up” is supposed to be Marlboro. I think it’s a hysterical coincidence that there is a company called Target that uses a big red dot in its branding identity.


For the more sophisticated (and male) audience, they have bubblegum cigars. My fav was always El Bubble. The “Pink Owl” is supposed to be White Owl cigars. I’m not sure what the others brands are. (Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?) The bubblegum cigars were always kind of hard and they hurt your jaw if you chew them for too long.


They didn’t want to leave out the red neck contingency so they also have bubble gum chewing tobacco. I never bought a pack. Everyone knows that chewing tobacco isn’t good for you.


These are candy buttons. Solid sugar. After you eat a sheet, you end up with a wad of wet paper in your mouth. But I always ate them, anyway.


Did you know that if you eat these and drink a Coke at the same time, your stomach will explode and you’ll DIE! That’s how Mikey died, poor thing.


18 thoughts on “Tooth decay and lung cancer

  1. 50 something years ago the cool, hip kids put aspirin in Cola. Supposedly, you got mildly drunk. (Street theatre, more like!)And Round-up is the shelf name for the nasty herbicide glyphosate.(Roundup is reduced-strength, so it’s safe for home owners to use. Yeah, right!)Nice trip back to the olden days.

  2. We used to keep a mixture of cocoa and sugar in a small tin which we would lick. (Sweets were rationed in wartime) We firmly believed that if you licked too much it would dry your blood up and you would die.

  3. Map: Hummm. I’m not sure. You try Pepsi and Mentos and I’ll try Pop Rocks and Coke. We’ll post the results if we’re still alive.Ponita: They have jaw breakers but they’re all the colors of the rainbow except black. How very goth!MIT: Now that you mention it I’ve heard of Rouindup. How awful/wonderful.Pat: Did they tell you that story to keep you from licking it? Frightening children like that. For shame.PG: That actually sounds fantastic. Wish I had some right now…Daisy: I LOVE Archie McPhee. They’re like Spencer Gifts on crack.

  4. We’re buzzkills in Canada. All of those faux tobacco products made of candy have just been pulled off the market.It was Popeye cigarrettes and black licorice pipes (with red candy to show the “lit” end) when I was a kid.I’m guessing “El Bubble” is a riff on “El Producto” which may be a Cuban cigar. Cubans were never banned up here, ya know.

  5. You had much more sophisticated tobaccoesque sweets than I remember getting over here. And much more attractive: ours were horrid hard white sticks with pink ends. I still ate them though.

  6. Rob: Call ME a buzzkill but I don’t think they should be selling this stuff. Canada got it right. And well done on the El Producto. I think you’re right. I wish I could smoke a Cuban cigar. Never have but would try it.Eryl: Actually, we had those, as well. They were really thin, right? Of course our candy tobacco products were superior. Nobody does decadence like the U.S.

  7. I love a good candy store, but I haven’t seen candy tobacco products anywhere lately except Texas…Just catching up on you! I only get these tiny pockets of internet access before the connection blows away…Nice to hear you were at Henry’s End though! My nabe, but North.

  8. We didn’t have any of the products you show here though we did have those white ‘cigarette’ sticks with the pink ends.I used to like licorice bootlaces… did you have them?

  9. I used to love those candy cigarettes with the fake red tip when I was a kid. I stayed trying to emulate my mom and dad who used to smoke like freight trains when i was younger.

  10. Jaw dropping stuff – has been banned in UK for years and years. My kids didn’t even know what a cigarette was til they were about 6 – then they called them ‘smoking sticks’. No, we didn’t get out much!

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