bubble gum cigarettes in Pakistan

“Bubble Gum Cigarettes”: A Bygone Mystery of Smoking Gums in Pakistan.

by Ayesha Sohail

When smokers are in a position to quit smoking, they are often told to give something to their mouths to fight back the tobacco cravings: a hard candy, raw carrots, sunflower seeds, or chewing gum. But as tobacco companies never stopped, and would never stop modifying their novel tobacco products to attract these potential consumers, quitting becomes difficult. One such product from the past that looked different from some traditional tobacco products was “Bubble Gum Cigarettes,” which came as a nostalgic candy but disappeared as a mystery in Pakistan.

Candy bubble gum cigarettes in Pakistan
Source: Candywharehouse.com

Isn’t it amazing that bubble gum, a way to reduce tobacco cravings itself existed in the form of a cigarette? Lol! If yes, then your amazement is justifiable.

Until the 1950s, people thought that smoking was good for health. Even the advertising companies used doctors in their ads for tobacco promotion. But in the 1970s, research was made public that smoking was injurious to health and caused Lung Cancer. With this, most Western countries, including the US, banned cigarette brands from advertising on TVs. They ordered cigarette brands to put a health warning on the packs. Moreover, Anti-smoking campaigns began to make waves in Europe and the US.

These anti-smoking waves also reached the non-western countries but people didn’t take them seriously. So, in 1974, the ‘Bubble Gum Cigarettes’ appeared in Thailand’s supermarkets as pink bubble gums. It was a unique way of attracting potential consumers and boosting the economy of the Tobacco Company.

Candy bubble gum cigarettes in Pakistan
Source: Candyblog.net

Similarly, following their path, Pakistan smuggled these gimmicks in 1974, knowing the true essence of ‘Koi Dhanda Chhota Nahi Hota.’ Local marketers sold these nostalgic candies packed in boxes of local cigarette brands such as Capstan, Gold Leaf, Victory, and Red & White. However, they didn’t need these illegal gimmicks as there were no restrictions on smoking. Still, people went crazy with this new invention.

These Thai gums hit young kids.  They started smoking in the form of these bubble gums. Firstly, the bubble gums used were sub-standard, and the kids began to get ill. Later revealed that it was the wrapper of the bubble gum. The wrapper was so wet and sticky that the kids used to chew it along with the bubble. It caused serious cases of choking and stomach ailments.

The bubble gum cigarettes did not last for more than three years and disappeared in 1978. God knows why! But it left many children addicted to this cursed tobacco thing. 

Did you know about Bubble Gum Cigarettes? 

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