Store faces charges over selling bubble gum that look like cigarettes

Bubble gum looking like cigarettes 
By: Devansh Dutt 

A store faces charges for selling packs of bubble gum that look like cigarettes, according to press reports.

The owners of an old school soda shop in St. Paul, Minnesota, have been advised to quit selling novelty gum cigarettes.

City inspectors threatened the store with a misdemeanor citation and a fine of $500 if Lynden’s Soda Fountain, is caught selling the bubble gum cigarettes again.

The gum cigarettes sales violated an ordinance prohibiting the sale of cigarettes and lighters with cartoon characters or if they are sweets, which has been in place for almost three years.

A city spokesperson said that the warning came after inspectors received and reviewed a complaint about the presence of tobacco themed products at the store.

The ban was enacted to discourage young people from taking to actual smoking. Sweet cigarettes, cigars and chewing gum sweets made to look like cigarettes are among a number of classic sweet treats that Lynden has maintained in the store since opening in April.

Store owner Tobi Lynden, said that the white candy sticks with red tips were her best-selling sweet item, but she's got to avoid conflict with the ordinance.

"I was busted by the city of St. Paul. Oops,” tweeted the store.

Lynden said that almost all of the candy cigarette purchases were made by adults. "Oh, I had these when I was little," she often hears.

"This is not to promote smoking or tobacco of any kind," Lynden said.

A spokesperson for the City Safety and Inspections Department, said that the complaint came to their agency. Inspectors visited the candy store about a week later, and had the fake cigarettes immediately removed from the sales floor.

Cigarettes and novelty lighters with cartoons were banned by the city council, citing a study showing that the products encourage young people to take to real smoking.