New Candy Mints Look Like Drug Bags - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/10/2007-East Texas

New Candy Mints Look Like Drug Bags

A new kind of breathmint hits store shelves, and some East Texas parents say it's anything but cool.

They're called "cool mint pacs" made by Ice Breakers and are sold in heat sealed bags that look nearly identical to bags used to sell illegal drugs. This is now putting East Texas parents and law enforcement on high alert.

The Ice Breakers packs sold here in East Texas are dissolvable pouches with a powdered sweetener inside.

It is a concern to Becky Spenla, who is a parent of four. 

"My kids would probably eat that if it's candy. Without even thinking. My kids love candy. Then they come along later and something is packaged like that isn't candy but they think it is. I don't think they should do it. You can't trust anything nowadays," Becky said.

Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith says product like this is dangerous.

"The hazard is there for the child. That would be the number one thing we are most concerned about," said Sheriff Smith.

Smith said he hasn't seen this type of packaging for real drugs here in East Texas.

"That doesn't mean it won't change, because normally whatever starts in New York and Chicago, will drift to Tyler, Texas," Sheriff Smith said. "The drug dealers here don't package it that way. In fact I contacted the D.E.A. this afternoon and my officers. They haven't seen any blue packaging. I just can't believe that company would do that on purpose."

A spokesperson for the company pointed out that each pouch bears the Ice Breakers logo, and the product is not intended to simulate anything.

On Hershey's website, they specifically noted they don't air commercials on programs which contain glamorization of drug or alcohol use. But an East Texas teacher tells us this could give kids the wrong idea about drugs, making it look like they're okay.

"I think they need to stop that. Its really easy for the kids to get away with something like that. If they already have drugs then its really easy for them to get away. Because, 'oh, it is candy'," said Shaina Singh, a concerned teacher.

Candy that is already leaving a bitter aftertaste for many East Texans.

Sheriff Smith also said if real drugs were sold in East Texas packaged that way, his department would have to conduct field tests so the two don't get confused.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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