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 pastels 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 vegan.
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 strawberry, purple is grape, and orange is orange. Smarties Candy Company also produces "X-treme sour" and "tropical" varieties of Smarties.
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. The trend was once thought to be a hoax, but viral YouTube videos demonstrating how to smoke the candy made the fad hasten in popularity. The particles act like "Glass Shards" and if they reach the nose, they can trigger potentially life-threatening complications, especially for children with asthma and allergies. These reactions include chronic coughing and choking, irritation of the lungs, infection followed by scarring of the nasal cavity, anaphylaxis, and an infestation of maggots in the nose in which they feed on the sugar. This trend may even contribute a craving to tobacco and other drugs involving insufflation. Doctors and psychologists recommend therapy and a mental health evaluation for children involved in this activity.
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