Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Rust-Oleum tries competing with Juul by introducing flavored spray paint

FDA now tasked with tackling teen paint huffing epidemic

Satire by

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to RPM International, parent company of Rust-Oleum, requesting that it takes its flavored spray paint off retail shelves until the FDA reviews them. The warning comes after concerns that the flavors make huffing more appealing to children.

This is not RPM’s first controversy. The company made unproven claims that its new paint was “safer than traditional methods of solvent inhalation,” which led the FDA to recall items with false marketing and charge RPM with millions in fines. An expert witness accused RPM of using the same marketing tactics as Big Solvent companies during the middle school glue-sniffing epidemic of the 1990s. 

In an official statement, RPM claims the flavors were “not an attempt to market to children,” but rather a more appealing means of “huffing cessation for adult users.” 

Despite this, rates of inhalant abuse among U.S. teens have skyrocketed. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that at least 87% of my friends huffed paint in the past year. Nationwide, this figure could be as high as like, 13%. 

Many teens that use the paint don’t know what they’re putting in their body. Palo Alto High School student Braden Miller said that when he first tried it, he “didn’t even know [he] was huffing paint,” but rather “just wanted to taste the flavors.” 

The FDA has asked nicely for compliance by January 2054, threatening another strongly worded letter. It has, however, allowed RPM to keep its “paint-flavored” products on the shelf.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Lana Tleimat at ltleimat ‘at’ stanford.edu.