In an effort to stop youngsters from picking up a tobacco habit, city inspectors have ordered a small Minnesota soda shop to stop selling its popular candy cigarettes and bubblegum cigars.
According to the Star Tribune, Lynden’s Soda Fountain pulled the fake smokes after officials said the store would face a misdemeanor citation and a $500 fine for noncompliance.
A 2009 city ordinance bans the sale of imitation tobacco items to children.
White candy sticks with red tips were the store’s most popular item, Tobi Lynden, the wife of store owner John Lynden, told the Tribune.
Dozens of people have left supportive messages for the store on its Facebook page, which includes a link to a story about the candy cigarette ban with the caption, “Guilty!”
“I just got through a bag of gummy bears,” one person wrote. “Now I can’t stop thinking about where to find a REAL bear to eat!”
“Don’t let the man keep you down!” wrote another user, Joshua May.
“But it is okay to sell real cigarettes? Strange world we live in,” said Dale Reisinger.
“As a kid 50 years ago, i loved those candy ciggerates, my parents both smoke, i never have or wanted to,” Facebook user Robert Smith posted. “There are some strannge people out there who want to tell every body what to do.”
“This wreaks of mafia and candy prohibition,” concluded another poster.