LOS ANGELES — The vape and e-Liquid company Koph unveiled a new flavor this week called “Karcinogen,” designed to imitate the taste, smell, and sensation of inhaling highly cancerous smoke.
“For our latest release, we didn’t want to go the same dessert or breakfast cereal flavor route everyone else has gone. Smoking is about danger, and danger is cool, and we understand what’s cool — people don’t want smooth, mango-flavored clouds. They want cool, they want sexy, they want danger… all in the form of an intentionally harsh vape hit,” explained Koph CEO Marty Lipschitz. “We all fear death, but some of us choose to master it. Koph’s Karcinogen lets you look your own mortality in the eye and tell it there’s a new sheriff in town.”
Koph Marketing Director Shania Sterling described the flavor as a “healthier alternative to the existential crises of traditional smoking.”
“Think about your favorite way to smoke: bong, blunt, or one hitter, it’s your tried-and-true smoking experience. You love it because you know that someday it may bring you closer to death,” Sterling said. “However, studies evaluating the claim that vapes don’t cause cancer have been inconclusive, and we want our customers to taste that ambiguity in every cloud.”
“I love it. This shit is great,” said Steph Riviera, an early adopter of Karcinogen. “It reminds me of smoking in my parents’ bathroom back in high school. I never wanted to cough because they might hear, but I was using a shitty one hitter, so I usually did. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about the finality of death, or how we are all marching towards it, so a vape flavor that reminds me of both is super fun and exciting.”
The National Institute of Health, which in the past has clamped down on misleading marketing claims by vape companies, is surprisingly permissive with Koph’s Karcinogen campaign, which features young adults who sound like Harvey Firestein struggling to play dodgeball.
“If vapes are going to be available to consumers, the companies that sell them should market their products with honesty,” said NIH spokesperson James Dunphy. “Frankly, it’s the most honest marketing direction we’ve seen in this industry, so we’re actually pretty happy with this one.”
Koph is reportedly also in talks with McDonald’s, who may add the Karcinogen flavor to their new Meatless McRib recipe.
Noah Leavy is a satire and comedy writer living near Washington, D.C.
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