Candy Cigarettes of Shame
Back in the good old days, and by that I mean a whopping 20 years or so ago, there was this awesome product called “candy cigarettes.” There were two kinds – the nasty hard candy ones that you had to actually suck on a bit because they were so hard and crumbly and nasty, and they looked like crinkled up paper. And then there were the ones that were bubble gum in paper wrappers. The bubble gum was coated in some sort of white powder to keep it from sticking to the paper.
They rocked. You could puff on them a few times, and the white powder would “smoke” out the end, at least until the paper had gotten wet or the powder had run out. Then you could chew the bubble gum until the plastic fruit flavor was gone and it was just plastic flavor.
But times have changed. It is no longer acceptable for children to pretend to smoke cigarettes. We have had to move beyond that.
Now we have candy crayons.
Yes, I’m serious. Candy crayons. Because since we can no longer teach children that it’s okay to make believe, it’s perfectly okay to teach them that it’s okay for them to chew on and eat crayons.
Obviously, the minute I saw them, I had to buy them, bring them home, and chew on them. And, amazingly enough, they taste just like the gum-type of candy cigarettes! Maybe because they are the exact same things, just branded differently.
I don’t smoke. I don’t encourage smoking. “Smoking” candy never made me to smoke a cigarette. Watching other people “smoke” candy never encouraged me to smoke a cigarette.
Do we really think we have to protect our children to this extent now? Do we think that they will never play with a “candy crayon” like it’s a cigarette? Aren’t we skipping the real problem – cigarette companies that market to children and portray smoking as cool? Is changing a cigarette to a crayon really going to change that much?
Perhaps we need to consider the underlying problem and not just go around making superficial changes in our worlds. Albert Einstein once said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” So let’s change our thinking and not just our product names.