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St. Paul soda shop threatened with $500 fine for selling candy cigarettes in Minnesota

Owners of an old-school soda shop in St. Paul, Minn., are being warned to kick the habit and stop stocking novelty candy cigarettes.

City inspectors threatened a misdemeanor citation and $500 fine if Lynden's soda fountain is caught selling the fake smokes again. The Star Tribune reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/RiCHiP ) that the offering violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy smokes and cartoon character lighters.

A city spokesman says the warning came after inspectors received and looked into a complaint about the presence of the tobacco-themed products. The ordinance was enacted to discourage youngsters from picking up a real smoking habit.

Shop owner Tobi Lynden says the white candy sticks with the red tips were her best-selling item but she pulled them to avoid running afoul of the ordinance.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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