A “white powder” candy which is “smoked” could put children on the path to smoking or drug use, experts have warned.
This follows reports of a craze for Moyan, or “magic smoke” candy among primary school pupils in Yulin City in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.
It is made by Haoliyuan Food Co, in Jiedong County in Guangdong Province.
The sugary white powder is sucked up through a straw resembling a cigarette and creates “smoke” in the mouth.
This is similar to taking some drugs, Chinese Business View reported yesterday.
Psychologist He Peirong said children buying magic smoke will form an idea that smoking cigarettes and taking drugs pose no harm.
Children are most receptive to new ideas in primary school and have strong ability to imitate, He told the newspaper.
But at that age they also have difficulty telling right from wrong. Once they acquire bad habits, their life will be impacted, He added.
Meanwhile, Wang Shiping, secretary general of Yulin Consumer Council, called Moyan “a very bad influence.”
The owner of a grocery store near schools in Yulin said he sold 40 packs of the 0.5 yuan (8 US cent) candy a day.
“Most boys in my class buy it,” one boy said. He was among several who believed Moyan was similar to smoking.
Parents called for a ban. “I feel as though my children are taking drugs,” one mother said.
Haoliyuan Food Co said the design was simply to help promote the product.