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After many vape companies have stopped using cartoonish characters for fear of FDA retaliation, the FDA has decided to return vaping products to cartoons themselves. Marvel has created a new series of videos designed to be anti-vaping propaganda.
The videos are called the “Mind Control Menace.” The videos feature a pair of teens, Javier and Amy who attend a highschool. A green fog starts taking over students and makes them act “off.” The two main characters notice, and start trying to figure out what is going on. The green fog materializes with a face and attempts to attack the pair, but is repelled when one of them shouts “No.” After realizing it the fog can be defeated, he builds a device that shows people what can happen to them in the future if they do not fight the fog. Everybody that the device connects to mentally fights off the fog, and the highschool is free from the fog.
The videos emphasize the oversimplified view that just saying no and seeing things clearly is enough to overcome addiction. If quitting was as simple as measuring individual willpower, there would be no need for support groups for people quitting nicotine.
The main problem is, anyone who reads comics will know that villains are half the appeal. Depicting vape as a mind-controlling, glowing evil fog adds far more appeal to vaping than the FDA realizes. Had a vape company commissioned the exact same video, anti-youth vaping messages and all, they would have been fined for advertising to youth.
There is no good reason to be associating superpowers with vaping, then showing that to youth. Vapes are meant to be used by adults who have issues with nicotine already. Electronic cigarettes have no use to children or anyone else who has never touched nicotine. Dressing up vaping as a mystical supervillain is completely counterintuitive to keeping vapes away from children.
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