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SpazzStick is a caffeinated lip balm. It was created by Richie Holschen, the only police officer in the remote Alaskan village of Kaktovik, who needed to protect his lips and remain alert in an area so cold that coffee freezes.[1][2] When he first started making the product in 2004, he did so out of the police station.[3] In 2006, it was hailed as one of the "Best Business Ideas" by Coolbusinessideas.[4]

In February 2008, on her show Rachael Ray reviewed several products that contained caffeine. One of those products was SpazzStick. The show had three reviewers and a medical doctor, Jeanine Downy, as part of a panel reviewing the caffeinated products. Downy observed that caffeine is not effective unless it is ingested or absorbed through thin skin such as the mouth; thus SpazzStick and the toothpaste were the two products she expected would have the best results.[5] The viewer who tested the SpazzStick swore that it provided the expected energy burst and that she would use it every day. Downy, however, warned that care should be taken in using the product since it did not come with SPF protection.[5] (Spazzstick is now SPF 15) Similarly, a review by EnergyDrinkReviews stated, "The power of the stuff is hard to quantify. I put it on and within a minute or two I definitely got a kick ... a very noticeable one too."[6] It is estimated that each application of SpazzStick gives the wearer the equivalent of a sip of coffee.[3]

Part of the marketing strategy for SpazzStick has been the incorporation of humor in its advertising.[3] The official website contains the standard questions, and then a number of non-sequiturs or flippant answers. For example, in answering the question about testing on animals, the answer is, "No, Spazzstick has never been tested on animals. The only animals in the area are arctic fox, caribou, and polar bears. We can't catch the foxes, and putting lip balm on a caribou is no picnic, so we don't even try. No one was willing to get close enough to a polar bear to put lip balm on it."[7] The website also boasts that SpazzStick is made "in a beautiful little Eskimo Village called Kaktovik, AK, by the inventor ... and his hordes of worker trolls in a vast underground volcano lair." The trolls, Holschen admits, are his 5 children and that "[i]t's not uncommon to get [a tube] with a crooked label put on by a 2-year-old."[7]


  1. ^ Grey, Ann (12 February 2007). "Caffeine takes new forms". Iowa State Daily. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  2. ^ Shute, Nancy (15 April 2007). "Over The Limit:Americans young and old crave high-octane fuel, and doctors are jittery". US News and World Report. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Freezing Isn't the Only Thing to Do in Alaska". Fox News. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "2006 Best Business Ideas". Coolbusinessideas. 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "Watching Rachael Ray". February 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Spazzstick". Energy Drink Review. 16 September 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Bragg, Beth (28 July 2006). "Cop blends lip-lickin' caffeine and comedy in Spazzstick balm". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 

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