Nuh-uh! I couldn't believe this when I saw it. The highly regarded British Medical Journal actually published a study entitled, "Do candy cigarettes encourage young people to smoke?"
As a health writer, I usually have to slog through pages and pages of dull medical crapola, so this was a welcome diversion. The study actually has some interesting historical tidbits in it, like this:
Currently, the two major producers of candy cigarettes in the United States are Stark (acquired by New England Confectionery in 1990) and World Candies. Today, New England Confectionery calls its candy cigarettes "candy stix."
Low prices make candy cigarettes more affordable than other confectionery, an important feature for products marketed to young consumers. Candy cigarettes often escape adults' notice because they are usually displayed on the lowest shelves in the shop.
The Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner publicly criticised candy cigarettes in November 1993, as part of "a barrage of symbols" that glorify smoking. In response, an attorney for World Candies stated they would "resist all efforts" to remove their "fun healthy foods" from the market just because they are "alleged to resemble tobacco products . . . ."
Hey, I'm all for sticking up for the rights of candy companies, but seriously... candy cigarettes are "fun healthy foods"? Bwahaha!
In any case, the study concluded that yes indeed, candy cigarettes do encourage young people to smoke. So where does Madam Yum Yum fit into the study, you ask? Oh fine. You knew I was holding back on you in the previous post, didn't you. Yes, the young Miss Yum Yum did enjoy her share of candy cigarettes and yes, she did experiment with smoking at a young age (including falling into the "wrong crowd" in 4th grade and helping them hide cigarettes in the last stall in the girls' bathroom, and encouraging the Baroness to try smoking maple leaves because, hey, tobacco is a leaf, right?) But now she knows it's a filthy disgusting habit (not to mention expensive) and if she ever sees anything besides "candy stix" between the Sugar Baby's lips she will beat the fun healthy food out of him.