This post is written by the Center’s wonderful new intern, Debra Levi! She is working with Marlene Gomez on all things advocacy related to help with our work in Los Angeles.
Growing up, I always thought that eating Girl Scout cookies was just a normal and essential part of life. I remember the neighborhood girls would come to my door and ask my mom how many boxes she wanted to order this year. I kid you not, my mom would order at least 20 boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, at least 15 of which would be Thin Mints. Personally, I love the do-si-dos or peanut butter sandwich cookies. And can still eat a whole sleeve of either in one sitting. (Girl Scout cookies are on my diet during cookie season, but only if I eat them after my Kale smoothies!). The fact of the matter is that Girl Scout cookies are a mandatory staple in life. Not only are they amazingly delicious, but also selling Girl Scout cookies teaches young girls greatleadership skills that help them mature and grow into successful adults; I think everyone can support that. The only problem is Girl Scout cookies are sold for only about 2 months out of the year, and then they disappear for the remainder of the year and you just have to hope that your 20 boxes will last you for another month.
At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, why is she rambling on about Girl Scout cookies like they are the Holy Grail? Well, I’ll tell you! As a tobacco control advocateand Girl Scout cookie lover and supporter, it really upsets me that E-cigarette companies are making E-juice or E-liquid in flavors such as Thin Mint, Chocomint cookie, and Samoa cookie pie. The cookies that we all love to eat have suddenly turned into a potentially harmful nicotine flavoring to be smoked or consumed year round from an E-cigarette. Everyone loves Girl Scout cookies! When I found out that they had Thin Mint flavored E-liquid I wanted to try it! I thought to myself, “How cool is that? Now people can enjoy their favorite Girl Scout cookie flavor year round (instead of only 2 months)!”And then, reality kicked in, E-cigarette companies are marketing geniuses, just like the tobacco industry.. They figured out how to use a product that everyone loves, but can only have access to during certain times, and enabled people to enjoy that product whenever they want. That was the E-Cigarette companies’ exact goal.
E-cigarettes have been repeatedly marketed as a product you can use wherever and whenever you want. In addition to being able to experience your favorite Girl Scout cookie on a daily basis, you can now enjoy Girl Scout cookie flavors you love, without the guilt of actually eating a cookie. This is an advertising gold mine! Young girls in Girl Scout troops all over the United States have sold those sweet morsels of amazingness during cookie season every year since I can remember. During Girl Scout cookie season, young girls walk door to door, set up camp outside grocery stores, and sell cookies to family and friends. It’s no wonder that e-cigarette and e-liquid companies are marketing their Girl Scout cookie flavors to everyone, especially young people. Girl Scouts themselves love their product, their brothers love it, their sisters love it, their cousins love it, and their whole family eats Girl Scout cookies across this country. The e-cigarette and e-liquid companies are banking on this fact when advertising their flavored product, especially to kids.