Minn. soda shop rebuked for stocking candy smokes
Candy cigarettes yanked from shelves by St. Paul, Minn. store / WCCO-TV/CBS
Updated 2 a.m. EST Dec. 27
ST. PAUL, Minn. Owners of an old-school soda shop in St. Paul, Minn., are being warned to kick the habit and stop stocking novelty candy cigarettes.
City inspectors threatened a misdemeanor citation and $500 fine if Lynden's soda fountain is caught selling the fake smokes again. The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that the offering violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy smokes and cartoon character lighters.
A city spokesman says the warning came after inspectors received and looked into a complaint about the presence of the tobacco-themed products. The ordinance was enacted to discourage youngsters from picking up a real smoking habit.
Shop owner Tobi Lynden says the white candy sticks with the red tips were her best-selling candy item but she pulled them to avoid running afoul of the ordinance.
She told CBS Minneapolis station WCCO word that such sales were illegal came as a surprise.
She opened the shop last April, and says the candy cigarettes were mostly bought by adults.
"We're a tiny little soda fountain shop that specializes in vintage candies and vintage sodas," she told the station. "We never had any issues with it. People were always happy to see them."
Inspectors removed the candy cigarettes, the Big League Chew and the bubble gum cigars people buy when someone has a baby, WCCO reports.
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