Candy Cigarettes Fine For Lynden's Soda Shop?

December 27, 2012 1:24 PM EST | By FoodNRecipe Staff
Lynden's Facebook page features photos of all their offerings, including the candy cigarettes on top of the pile of delicious vintage-style treats. (Photo: Facebook)

A candy cigarettes' fine of $500 may be charged to an old-school soda shop in St. Paul, Minnesota. City investigators threatened Lynden's soda shop with the candy cigarettes' fine after a customer complained that the store was selling tobacco-themed products.  The candy cigarettes' fine is only a misdemeanor citation, but shop owner Tobi Lynden pulled the product from her shelves despite that fact it is her best-selling item.

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"We got busted [Dec. 19] by the City of St. Paul. Oops," the shop tweeted.

Lynden's kept candy cigarettes and cigars in stock since the shop opened in April, but didn't run afoul of the law until a customer reported that they were selling tobacco-themed products which is a violation of a city ordinance that was passed in 2009 that bans candy cigarettes as well as lighters with cartoon characters on them.

"We had no idea," Tobi Lynden told the Star-Tribune. "We don't want to get on the bad side of St. Paul."

The soda shop is taking that candy cigarettes fine in stride, however, and are running a special promotion on their Facebook page:

Stop in and try a Soda at half price between now and the end of the year while sugar is still legal! Just tell the jerk "you heard we were busted" to receive your 50% of on a handmade soda! Bring the whole family!


The Facebook page is also drawing some support for Lynden's from folks who think the candy cigarettes fine is a bit ridiculous.

"I want to show my support for you guys after your ridiculous "bust". I loved those as a kid and I despise smoking. My kids eat them if we find them too. I do find it pretty amusing that you can't sell the candy ones but the government has no problem collecting the sales taxes on the real ones, you know the ones that actually kill you. Figures," Kristy Vander Wielen Jeske wrote on Lynden's page.

"I can only assume that next they will come after people who make and sell rootbeer and ginger ale because it has the words "ale" and "beer" in it and it could lead to kids becoming alcoholics, I'm sure somebody will get a Govt grant to do a study proving this to be a gateway to alcoholism," wrote Harley Schultz.

Lynden's hasn't been charged the $500 candy cigarettes' fine yet, and the company plans to keep the contraband off their shelves. Robert Humphrey, spokesman for the city's Safety and Inspections Department, said the complaint came to his agency Dec. 13. The candy cigarettes were pulled on Dec. 19 when a city official visited the store. Humphrey told the Star-Tribune that the candy cigarettes' fine isn't a top priority.

"We enforce this on a complaint basis," Humphrey said. "This isn't taking time away from any major enforcement [actions]."

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