When I was a kid, one of the things my friends and I liked to get for Halloween were candy cigarettes and cigars. With them, we could pretend to be movie gangsters, WWII soldiers, or any of the other cigarette- and cigar-smoking icons of the time. Most of us weren’t imitating our fathers; every Dad I can recall smoked a pipe if they smoked at all. Candy cigarettes were like our toy guns—props. No one in my circle of friends ended up smoking, just as no one ended up shooting people.
Still, with what we know about health risks, and the forty-year war against smoking, I haven’t seen candy cigarettes and cigars in years. Decades even.
Then, I stopped in to our town’s newly-opened Five Below to see what kind of stuff they sold. And there they were: candy cigarettes and cigars.
Somehow, what looked so cool forty years ago just looks absolutely repulsive today. Candy cigarettes? Really? What a horror.