Blu, purveyors of e-cigarettes to non-Na'avi people, is teaming up with Johnson Creek to provide all its electronic cigarette e-liquids. Blu's alcopop-esque flavors of Cherry Crush, Vanilla, Magnificent Menthol, Java Jolt, and Vivid Vanilla--oh, and let's not forget Classic tobacco for all you wannabe cowboys out there--are now to be manufactured in the U.S. Johnson Creek's own flavors, Original, and Red Oak, will be available for Blu from next month.
Although marketed as a device for quitting smoking, it seems that electronic cigarette manufacturers may be targeting the younger end of the market--indeed, hoary old Marlboro man aside, most of the "smokers" on Blu's Web site are more than youthful--don't expect to see Joey Tribbiani's agent, Estelle, on this. They're DJs, Martini drinkers, and what looks like students at an airport on their way to Spring Break.
At the beginning of this year, Jerry Brown, California's Attorney General, filed a suit against an online shop for e-smokers, claiming that they were failing to keep teenagers away from their site with an age verification system. But then, age verification systems can be circumnavigated, can't they?
Whatever the health repercussions may be--one harmful ingredient of e-cigarettes is anti-freeze, the manufacturers are steering a canny path through the controversy. Jason Healy, president of Blu, sees it thus: "We care about what our customers put in their bodies so it is imperative for us to work with the leading company whose product is 100% made in America and not in an unregulated Chinese factory like most, if not all, of the products in the market." Er, Jason, I think your PR people might want to have a word with you.