“Is it salted or unsalted butter?” asked Monica Clouds. “I’m trying to watch my blood pressure.”
Photo by Connor Betterly
Last month, the popular e-cigarette and vape company Juul released a new addition to their line of flavored nicotine vapes. This one, primarily marketed to children, is called Buttery Binky. In a press release, Juul’s co-founder James Monsees stated, “This new flavor is buttery AF, dawg. It goes down smooth and facilitates the ripping of fat cloudage, and it will certainly satisfy your infantile oral fixation.”
The release of Buttery Binky has garnered a substantial amount of media attention. The critically acclaimed Vape Aficionado Magazine published a markedly positive review of the flavor, stating, “Buttery Binky is hype. It marks Juul’s departure from the standard tactic of making sweet flavored vapes with the introduction of more savory flavors, effectively expanding the palate of consumers. We expect to see more exploration into the realm of cuisine consumed by inhaling superheated nicotine vapor from a USB-chargeable device — the premier gastronomic experience.” Another publication, Babies Blowing Clouds, released a statement which cited Buttery Binky as “the perfect pacifying flavor for reluctant naptimes,” and a “great alternative for those tired of only using flavors based on human milk.”
Not all reviews of Buttery Binky have been positive, however. Members of the medical community have expressed concern that the Buttery Binky could be causally related to an emerging disease referred to as Movie Popcorn Lung. “We think the extra buttery-smooth flavor profile of Buttery Binky may be responsible for increased lactose content in the mucus and lung-tissue samples of patients afflicted with the disease,” said medical researcher Dr. Domer, a specialist in vape tricks at Scripps Health. When asked to elaborate on the symptoms of the affliction, Domer explained, “It’s just like regular popcorn lung, except Movie Popcorn Lung samples generally have a more salty, savory flavor, making them a great snack for those who like to eat during movies.” Domer later declined to comment about allegations of cannibalism.
Despite the potentially lethal effects of Movie Popcorn Lung, sales of Buttery Binky have been steadily increasing, especially among consumers aged 3 to 17. When asked to explain his choice of Buttery Binky, Josh Blinker, seventh grader at The Preuss School, told reporters, “If popcorn lung was actually real, then corporations wouldn’t sell the products which gave it to us.” Another student said, “at least Buttery Binky isn’t so sugary that it will rot my teeth.” A third student expressed excitement for future vaping experiences, stating, “I can’t wait ’till I’m 21 so I can try whiskey flavor!”
While students may be pleased with Buttery Binky, other consumer demographics are not so welcoming. “I think it’s irresponsible to make vapes with such unhealthy flavors. Butter has a lot of fat and cholesterol! What are they gonna make next? Burger flavored vapes?” asked Monica Clouds, spokeswoman for the LA-based activist group Suburban Women Promoting Health (SWPH). Another SWPH member agreed with Clouds, stating, “Personally, I would love more plant-based and vegan options for vape flavors, like kale or quinoa. I really think there’s a market for vapes among those who are concerned about their health and well-being.”
Unconfirmed reports suggest that, despite the current controversy, Juul flavor technicians are joining with pharmaceutical companies to create flavors infused with insulin or asthma medication, as well as joining with celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay to create more complex flavors like bleu cheese and foie gras. These flavors are predicted to make record profits.