Anyway, back to the unicorns. It would be so much better if we could just print the whole thing for you, because it’s endlessly entertaining. Sadly, copyright laws prevent what would be maybe the most popular vaping website article ever. That’s a shame, because putting such a monumental work in Tobacco Control guarantees it’ll only be seen by about 62 people (44 if you exclude the publication’s staff).
Dr. Jackler is pretty worked up about all these unicorns. “Unicorn e-juice products most often are named after the creature’s supposed secretions and excretions: milk, breath, tears, blood, puke, vomit, poop, piss, spew and jizz [sic],” he writes. “In advertisements, the e-juice emanates from the appropriate bodily orifice of the unicorn in the form of an attractive rainbow of colours.”
“Descriptions of the flavour of unicorn e-juice products vary, but are usually of the sweet, fruity and creamy descriptors of a type which appeals to youthful palates,” he notes. In an article full of citations, there are none for his assertion that sweet, fruity and creamy flavors are particullar favorites of youth. I don’t know about you, but I’m 57 and I still like sweet, fruity and creamy flavors. What flavors does the Stanford staff enjoy, cardboard and grass clippings?
Referring to a warning from one vendor that a certain citrus-based flavor is known to crack plastic tanks, Jackler laments, “One cannot help but wonder whether or not it would have a similar effect on teenage lungs over time.” Again, no citation for that. Sure doesn’t seem very scientific to me.
In fact, sometimes it looks an awful lot like Dr. J is just making stuff up. “Unicorn-themed e-cigarette advertisements are prime examples of the type of youth appealing marketing which are contributing to the rapid rise in teen use.” Where is the evidence that any kind of marketing is causing a rise in use? Where are these products marketed exactly? On websites that require age verification? In stores that verify ID before making sales?
Tobacco control zealots constantly and intentionally confuse the “marketing” of independent vapor products — which is almost completely restricted to the sellers’ websites and adult-only stores — with the advertising on TV and radio of the major (mostly tobacco industry-owned) brands. They count on their audience (other tobacco controllers, public health officials, policy makers) trusting them and never doing any investigating of their own.