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St. Paul Soda Shop Busted For Selling Candy Cigarettes

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(credit: CBS) Edgar Linares
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Lynden’s Soda Fountain on St. Paul’s Hamline Avenue can no longer sell their popular candy cigarettes.

On Dec. 19, a city inspector pulled the candy off the shelves and warned staff that the sweets couldn’t be sold within city limits.

The news was a surprise to shop owner Tobi Lynden, who opened the shop last April. She says the candy cigarettes were best sellers, mostly purchased by adults.

“We’re a tiny little soda fountain shop that specializes in vintage candies and vintage sodas,” Lynden said. “We never had any issues with it. People were always happy to see them.”

The inspector removed the candy cigarettes, the Big League Chew and the bubble gum cigars that people buy when someone has a baby.

Robert Humphrey, the spokesperson for the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspection, says a Bloomington resident reported the sale of the cigarettes on Dec. 13.

Humphrey says the ban on tobacco-themed candy has been in place since April of 2009.

Humphrey added: “The Ramsey Tobacco Coalition, which is a program of the Association of Non-Smokers, went before the council with a group of high school students who said ‘research shows that candy cigarettes leads to smoking.’”

The council unanimously approved the ordinance.

The safety department gets an average of one call a year on the sale of tobacco-themed candy, Humphrey says.

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