Call for candy cigarettes to be banned

09:30 AEST Tue May 1 2012
Spaceman candy sticks are still on sale in New Zealand
Spaceman candy sticks are still on sale in New Zealand

Lollies that look like cigarettes are corrupting New Zealand children, Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says.

"I am appalled that we continue to sell lollies shaped as cigarettes and I certainly do not condone these products," she told the New Zealand Herald.

Mock cigarettes are prohibited in Canada, Britain, Finland, Norway, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

But it's not illegal to sell the local Spaceman candy sticks or American brands of bubble gum packaged to look like a cigarette with a filter in New Zealand.

Auckland University tobacco control researcher Dr Natalie Walker told the NZ Herald that her son had found the American products in a sweet shop.

She thought they had been banned and raised the matter with the Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

Her comments have prompted Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) to renew calls for the government to ban the lollies when they pass legislation forcing tobacco products into plain packaging.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has joined in condemnation of the products.

"It's one way of getting young people connected to cigarettes. Any marketing of cigarettes or cigarette-similar products to children is a bad step and should be stopped as soon as possible," he said.

Do you think sweets that look like cigarettes should be banned in New Zealand? Or is this political correctness gone mad? Have your say below

User comments
Come on... these lollies have been around for years!! I had them when I was little and I dont smoke. Children copy parents and caregivers behaviours, I dont think lollies are going to be an influence for smoking. Stop and smell the coffee!
I LOVED these lollies as a kid. Did I end up a smoker? No. Going a bit overboard here. Lollies do not turn kids into smokers. I would say adults have the biggest influence on children's view of cigarettes, as well as society in general. Not lollies.
Want to make a politicians cry - keep the candy sticks but ban alcohol and free flights.
That's a bit overboard. These lollies have been around for a very long time. They're like those lollies that you want to share with your kids. Kids who aren't aware of smoking will just eat them. Kids who are exposed to smoking will definitely imitate it but I think it's a bit drastic to insinuate it will lead to actual smoking. If you want to ensure kids won't start smoking, how bout you just ban smokes! and stop killing the joy of lollies.
Crikey what next will they come up with haha!! Think its about time governments were banned because they obviousley have nothing better to do than come up with utter b.........t that costs us a fortune. I smoke, I enjoy it, Im aware of the dangers to my health but its my choice, I dont smoke around others, I pay more than enough tax each time I buy them, I have my own medical insurance so taxpayers don't have to foot the bill if I end up with a related disease, but it seems everything is blamed on smoking these days.
The telltale red-tip was removed from the design, and the sweet was renamed decades ago. These Spaceman sticks are completely inocuous lollies - NOT 'mock-cigarettes'! The only reason that somebody has even suggested the cigarette link, is because having caught sight of the packet in a shop, they mistook them for the 'Spaceman candy-cigarettes' (red tip included) from years ago. How ridiculous of the complainant make an assumption of influence based on their own personal childhood memories!! I can promise you that my children have never looked at these lollies and imagined a link to cigarettes.
I agree with all the comments. I love spaceman candies, have tried smoking once as a kid (before I tasted the candy stick), absolutely hated it (disgusting) and have never tried it again since. So I don't think the candy will get kids smoking. There are other factors that contributes to why people smoke. I agree with 'spaceman candy stick,' if you really want people to stop smoking, then ban tobacco altogether.
*** are these guys on about! If these products promote smoking then why don't I smoke ? I had these when I was a kid and actually just bought a packet of these from the gas station last night. a shame the red tips are gone but bloody hell. Banned because of Public outcry ?? does that mean its taken some old biddy more than 10 years to complain about these They need to get off the PC bandwagon.
These candy sticks have been out for years, and now they want to ban them, find something better to do and leave the candy alone. I was eating them as a kid back in the 80s n still have some now n then. And i still don't smoke, it's crap if they think it leads to kids smoking, what are they going to do next, ban ginger beer because of the word "beer" in it, get real!!!!, I say NO to banning the candy sticks.
Hey Government... leave us alone. Do you also want to ban breathing on cold days because it reminds kids of smoking? Find something better to do with your time and stop trying to ruin our lives.

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