The owners of an old-fashioned soda shop in St. Paul, Minn. were threatened with fines and a misdemeanor citation unless they stopped selling novelty candy cigarettes.
City inspectors said Lynden’s Soda Fountain violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy cigarettes and cartoon character lighters. The ban also applies to items like Big League Chew chewing gum.
Lynden said the white candy sticks with the red tips was a best-selling item at the store – especially among adults in their 40s and 50s.
“I never thought something candy would be contraband,” Lynden said. “We were selling them because we sell a lot of nostalgic candy and we have an old-fashioned soda fountain.”
A city spokesperson told The Star Tribune that the business was given a warning – but if they break the law – they could face a citation along with a $500 fine. The ordinance was enacted to discourage youngsters from eventually using real cigarettes.
Lynden said they’ve pulled the inventory from their shelves – including Big League Chew.
“You cannot sell Big League Chew in the city of St. Paul,” he said. “It’s legal to sell real cigarettes and real chewing tobacco, but not candy versions.”
The news has not gone over well with his customers — many voicing their outrage on Facebook.
“A lot of people are upset they can’t get their candy smokes here in St. Paul,” he told Fox News. “We have to send them over to our sister city – Minneapolis – to get their candy smokes.”
With reporting from Associated Press