I recently came across a Facebook post with someone expressing anger towards a new vape product on the market called the Dragon Ball. This product is based on the once-popular Dragon Ball anime series.
There are two big issues that people have brought up with this product: Copyright infringement and Marketing to kids
Copyright infringement is terrible, but we’re only going to focus on the issue of marketing to kids.
It’s true, it’s based off a cartoon, but it was an anime cartoon that was popular nearly 20 years ago which targeted a male audience of 16+. Not little kids. There actually is still a Dragon Ball series still running, but it’s nowhere near as popular as it once was or even being aired in the United States. But that’s beside the point. The people who grew up with Dragon Ball are now adults. And it’s not like these RDA’s are accessible to kids anyway.
I hear people are saying things like “this isn’t what the industry needs right now.” They aren’t saying it specifically about this RDA, but all similar products.
I wonder, is it ever going to be okay to come out with e-juices or vape gear that relates in some way to a cartoon or something that is enjoyable to kids? At what point will it be okay?
The concerns about vape products appealing to kids is a long-standing issue, which started when regulators and anti-vaping groups claimed that vape companies were trying to appeal to kids with flavors like cotton candy and bubble gum.
We continue to fight these claims all the time, usually with the stance that adults like candy too. Adults also like lemonade, apple juice, and root beer, just like kids do, and that’s why we have sweet flavored alcohol like hard lemonade, hard cider, and hard root beer.
Both adults and kids like cereal too. That’s why these flavors exist in vaping, because adults like them.
So why is it different for other vape products?
Why are candy-flavored e-juices fine, but cartoon based products are not? I know, I know, flavors are important, while product styles really aren’t.
But my major gripe is that adults things that kids like too. Things like Hello Kitty and Pokemon. Things like Batman and Star Wars. Why should we not have products like this too?
These products are not being sold in the toy aisle of the grocery store. They’re only sold in vape shops, where you need to be 18/21+ to enter, depending on where you live. Kids can’t buy it, so what’s the big deal? After it’s purchased, it’s up to the adults to hide it from their children, just like they would with any adult product.
We shouldn’t let politicians, regulators, and anti-vaping organizations tell us that we can’t have fun products like this based on theoretical “what ifs.” If we do, they win.
It’s stuff like this that causes vapers to attack their own community and to go on witch hunts against vendors like Fumytech, and I feel like it really only hurts ourselves.
I’m not saying we should let anyone do as they please just because we don’t want to harm our image. I do think we need to hold anyone and everyone in the industry accountable if they have unethical practices, for example, if someone is directly advertising to kids or skirting other laws, but I just don’t feel like we should attack our community as if we are the regulators.
People worry that products like these can be used against us to further regulate the industry, and that’s one area where I’m kind of on the fence. I’d like to think that lawmakers would be able to see that adults enjoy candy and cartoons too. Honestly, I think they do, but they use it against us anyway because they have an agenda.
But if we cave to the lawmakers on this, how much further will anti-vaping groups go until they say there’s no longer an appeal to children?
This is where we need to worry that the only things available will be closed-tank systems. Or that the only choice of flavors will be tobacco or menthol.
If you think that’s crazy, look at New Jersey where a flavor ban might actually happen. The ban has already been approved by the state’s Senate health committee on the grounds that flavors might attract young people and lead them towards tobacco cigarettes. If this bill is approved by the full state Senate and Assembly, then signed by Chris Christie, that’s it. Vapers will only have menthol, clove, and tobacco flavored e-juice in New Jersey.
So what do you think? Do you think we should put a stop to bringing products like this to the market? If you have any disagreements with me or if you have anything to add, please leave a comment.