Smarties (wafer candy)
In the United States, Smarties are a type of tablet candy produced by Smarties Candy Company, formerly known as Ce De Candy Inc., since 1949. Smarties are produced in factories in both Union Township, Union County, New Jersey and Newmarket, Ontario. The candies distributed in Canada are marketed as Rockets, to avoid confusion with Nestlé Smarties.
One individual candy is in the shape of a cylinder with concave ends, with a diameter of roughly 1 cm and a height of roughly 4 mm. Larger ones have a diameter of 2.5 cm and are about 6 mm thick. Smarties come in combinations of colors within their wrapped rolls; these include white and pastel shades of yellow, pink, orange, purple, and green. Each color's flavor is different. They are usually packaged as a roll of 15 candies. All Smarties candies are free of animal products and are thus suitable for vegans.
After World War I, the Dee family bought gunpowder pellet machines and repurposed them to make candy. This gave the candy its resemblance to tablet-style pills in shape and texture. When sugar prices spiked in the 1970s, Ce De Candy switched from sugar to dextrose.
In 2004, Ce De Candy Co., Inc., in conjunction with Rock The Vote, manufactured 500,000 special edition Smarties with "Rock the Vote" on the wrapper. A 3.5 ounce Theater box was released in 2009, with a retro look on the boxes. In 2011, Ce De Candy Company changed its name to Smarties Candy Company. That same year in August, amid customer inquiries about the candy, Liz Dee, co-owner of the company, discovered that Smarties were vegan. While doing research about veganism, Liz Dee decided to be vegan, eschewing all animal products and choosing a plant-based diet.
Ingredients in Smarties candies are dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, artificial flavors, colors. There are 25 calories and six grams of sugar in a roll of Smarties. Smarties are gluten free and vegan.
Each package contains an assortment of pastel colors, including white, yellow, pink, green, purple, and orange. The flavor of each color is as follows; white is orange cream, yellow is pineapple, pink is cherry, green is lemon-lime, purple is grape, and orange is orange. Smarties Candy Company also produces "X-treme sour" and "tropical" varieties of Smarties.
Misuse of the product
Officials of middle schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Portsmouth, Rhode Island respectively, were concerned of a trend in which students crush the candy into fine powder while still in the wrapper, and then either putting the powder in their mouths and exhaling it orally or via the nose as if they were cigarette smoking, or using a rolled-up piece of paper or a straw to insufflate it like cocaine. Although the trend was once thought to be a hoax, today there are thousands of YouTube videos, some with hundreds of thousands of views demonstrating how to smoke or snort the candy. Schools have sent out warnings to parents. The warnings include:
- The particles act like glass shards, and if they reach the nose, the particles can trigger potentially life-threatening complications, especially for children with asthma and allergies.
- Possible reactions include chronic coughing and choking, irritation of the lungs, infection followed by scarring of the nasal cavity, anaphylaxis,
- This trend may even contribute to a craving for tobacco and other drugs involving insufflation.
Another warning often attributed is that there is a "rare possibility of an infestation of maggots in the nose in which they feed on the sugar." The physician quoted on nasal maggots, Dr. Oren Friedman, reported they were only a possibility. He stated while he has never seen a case of nasal maggots from Smarties, he has seen maggots develop from other food products in the nose.
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- Turcsik, Richard (1 February 2005). "Targeting the sweet tooth: creative use of the category's impulse nature can help speed up supermarkets' slowing candy sales. So can getting new products in front of consumers quickly." 71 (2). pp. 1094–1088.
- Dave Murray (2011-05-31). "Smarties-maker to students: Eat our candy; don't snort it". MLive. Retrieved 2014-05-23.
- Jaslow, Ryan (December 25, 2014). "Middle school warns snorting Smarties may lead to nasal maggots". CBS News. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
- Search Terms Smoking Smarties, Snorting Smarties - Youtube.com, March 2015
- Lee, Jolie - Snorting Smarties: Should you talk to your kid? - USA Today, January 29, 2014
- "Smoking Smarties and Drunken Gummies". Drug Free Action Alliance. Retrieved 2014-12-25.
- Angers, Angie. "School Warns Parents of Smarties Snorting Trend." WPRI-TV [Portsmouth]. 17 January 2014.
- Harris, Jenn. "Snorting Smarties: Eat. Don't Snort. Unless You Want Nasal Maggots." Los Angeles Times. 21 January 2014.
- Searcey, Dionne. "Just Say No ... to Smarties? Faux Smoking Has Parents Fuming."The Wall Street Journal. 20 March 2009.
- RI School Warns Parents About Students Snorting Smarties CBS quoting affiliate WPRI, January 20, 2014
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