The Candy Debate

We all remember the downfall of candy cigarettes; Once big tobacco finally admitted to the evils of their products, these little novelty candies quickly vanished from store shelves ice cream trucks. Public outcry supporting the removal argued, quite vehemently, that these sugary products set the stage for tobacco use in users later in life. But the question remains: Do mock behaviors in children really dictate future behaviors? Playing cowboys and Indians in your parent’s basement does not necessarily place you on the fast track to Navajo chiefdom (follow your dreams, man!); 200 hours spent on 1st person shooter games does not make you a skilled assassin. So how big of an influence can candy cigarettes, alcohol, and pills have on future behaviors?

Without question, we, as a society know the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. THEY ARE BAD FOR YOU. Slogans, programs, and classes are rammed down our throats early in life to ensure that each and every one of us has the opportunity to live clean, sober, and happy for the rest of our days. But… as with most things that are inherently bad for us, curiosity often wins out. The issue here, friends, is how that curiosity affects our choices down the road.

The Nitty Gritty

A child who hurts another child on the playground is scolded and punished for their actions. As such, the child learns not to repeat these types of behaviors.

A child who is given candy packaged in a pillbox will experience enjoyment when consuming the product. The behavior is not punished because, well… it’s candy. As such, the child may be less inhibited by the idea of prescription drug use.

Does pill-like candy consumption place children at higher risk for prescription drug use later in life? The answer is unclear. However, the mere presence of doubt is enough for many critics to demonize their sale… and for good reason:

As children, we live by experience and the actions we are taught. A behavior learned and rewarded early in life will often translate to repetitive actions down the road. Though candy is certainly an innocent topic, it is that same innocence that creates worry among parents whose children are introduced to negative behaviors and habits on its behalf. Without over analyzing the topic ad nauseam, it may be safe to close the argument in saying that these types of products serve little use in ensuring a positive and productive path for children to follow.

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