There’s a big discussion in the vaping world about product packaging.
Specifically relating to packaging that mirrors that of candy and other yummy goodies.
The discussion stems from politicians claiming that such packaging is merely marketing vaping items toward minors. This perceived marketing strategy has been the battle cry for legislation and regulation that is threatening to smother small vape juice manufacturers.
In addition to the argument that candy related packaging is marketed toward minors, there’s a growing contingent of those arguing that such packaging is making the product more appealing to children.
This is clear in the case of a 9-year-old Canadian girl who was briefly hospitalized after her and her friends found a bottle of “Unicorn Milk” on the playground and ingested it. The girl’s mother, Lea L’Hoir, immediately demanded that Ottawa enact a law prohibiting child-friendly names.
Apparently she wasn’t the first to demand such a law. There is currently legislation before the Senate that would halt sale of a vaping product with “an appearance, shape or other sensory attribute or a function for which there are reasonable grounds to believe that it could make the product appealing to young persons.”
Now, I have to be honest here, I think this is way over the top.
First off, I don’t want any government making decisions like this. Can the government really know what’s appealing to children?
I mean, come on, I’m a mom to three girls, age 10 and under, and let me tell you, often times I don’t have a clue. I can plan an awesome special day of activities and be informed that what I thought would be appealing to them is not even close. I don’t see how a government could begin to grasp such a thing.
Secondly, while my heart goes out to this little girl and her mother, because any child sickness can be frightening, I must say that both the child and the mother are partially to blame.
Now, don’t go crazy on me, hear me out.
I have a 9-year-old and she knows better then to eat something she finds on the playground. I have taught her this. I’ve also taught her that we don’t know where things have been, such as things we may find on the playground. So even if the Unicorn Milk had been candy, as the mother in this case assumed her daughter thought it was, you don’t eat it!
Thirdly, I must admit that I agree that candy and sweets and bright packaging with unicorns and rainbows may be appealing to children, they may also be appealing to adults.
In my vape juice stash right now I have a bottle that closely resembles that of a popular sour candy. Why did I buy it? Because I like the candy and I figured I would like the vape juice! Guess what, I was right.
Now, being a mom to three daughters, whom I love and cherish, I have told each of them that they are never to touch them. Now, it was not just a lecture or a firm talking to, it was a conversation, when questions were asked and answered on both sides. I know better than to just tell them not to touch it.
On top of that, they are all stored well out of their reach. I take precautions, because I understand that my habit/hobby could be dangerous to them if they tried to drink the juice.
Now let’s go back to the packaging, I think legislation concerning how it looks is simply a waste of time. As a consumer – and as a parent – I would rather legislation be similar to that regarding other things ingested into the body. I would like to know that the facility the juice was produced in was clean and that it was handled properly.
To me it’s a better use of resources to ensure that it’s safe, rather than how it looks.
Now, let’s take this packaging argument from the side of a consumer. As I’ve said, I’m usually toting around three little ones with me whenever I leave the house. This means the days of leisurely shopping are long gone.
So, when I actually have the opportunity to go to the vape shop to buy juice, it’s usually a matter of point and purchase. Occasionally I’ll be afforded the opportunity to have an adult conversation and ask a few questions, but this is rare. And I know I’m not the only shopper in this situation.
And standing there looking at the rows of bottles that pretty much only show the makers mark mean nothing to me. But if I see one with blueberries, or strawberries, as a consumer that enjoys these flavors, I may give it a try. Bottom line, making all the packaging boring is a hassle for consumers.
And let’s be honest, most of the juice manufacturers concoct some wild names, which can make it even more difficult for consumers.
For a newbie, looking to make the transition from cancer causing cigarettes to the healthier option of vaping, it all looks very daunting. Not speaking the lingo and not even knowing what the deck Unicorn Milk is may just make them turn around and leave the store, sticking with the cancer sticks they are familiar with.
The only draw back I see to candy related packaging is the time law makers are spending on the topic.
If we spent more time educating our minors on vaping, like we do on cigarettes and alcohol, maybe we wouldn’t have to waste time legislating on labels.