Keith recently wrote about the use of scent in marketing, and I had an immediate flashback to a moment of shock I had in front of a bargain bin at a store years ago. They were selling scented glue and scented pens. To kids. Because someone thought it would be a good idea to market huffing to kids. Remember huffing? Aka sniffing glue and other inhalants. While not popular with the modern day middle class, it’s still a popular way to get high with homeless youth, and can cause sudden heart failure. Sure, scented pens are supposed to be enjoyed wafted, but children are stupid. Ask any parent. I mean, we live in the Tide Pod generation, with eight recorded deaths since 2012, and counting.
I hate to be that guy, but dangerous products is kind of my thing. I even lecture on it. It’s fun to look at products from eras gone by that were terrible, like those radioactive childrens’ chemistry kits*, lead-based paints, and highly flammable dolls. It’s also important that we both criticize and legislate.
While not exactly a priority issue, I think failure to ban these products is a failure of government product safety departments, and I’d love to learn their rationale for allowing these on the market. Has a child died from these? Not from what I can tell. Is this product still a stupid idea? I think so.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.
To be clear (no pun), I think activities with kids where you make your own scented glue are fine, because responsible parents are likely to explain to kids this glue is safe to smell, but most others are not.
There is just one thing I don’t get though. Scented pens etc are absolutely something that would sell exceedingly well to children, and Scentos’ wide product range is a testament to that. But they also seem to be targeting adult women with “Therapeutic Scents.” That surprised me. I would have never thought scented stationery would be marketed as aromatherapy.