Cinnaminson, New Jersey , USA - April 20, 2011: PEZ  is the brand name of an Austrian confectionery and the mechanical pocket dispensers.  The confectionery itself takes the shape of pressed, dry, straight-edged blocks with Pez dispensers holding 12 Pez pieces. This is a Thomas the Train Dispenser with wrapped candy on a black background
The Connection Between Smokers And Pez Candy
By Cynthia Anaya
Dozens of characters have been featured on PEZ dispensers over the years, but while the candy is marketed towards children now, this was not always the case. Introduced in 1927 in Austria, PEZ started as a compressed peppermint candy aimed at individuals who wanted to kick their smoking habit.
Many people had picked up the habit of smoking after World War II, and Haas thought the oral activity of chewing candy could replace that of smoking while also freshening one's breath. This is why the first PEZ dispenser design mimicked the appearance of a cigarette lighter.
The PEZ company established operations in New York City in 1952, but Americans were not yet interested in quitting smoking en masse, so children became PEZ’s new target audience. This led to the introduction of the first character-inspired dispensers in 1955, which were a robot and Santa Claus.