Family First is concerned at reports that a ‘party pill’ was handed out to children as young as five as part of a ZM Radio promotion at the popular family holiday spot of Mount Maunganui earlier this month.
‘Zzaapp’ is described as an energy lozenge which will “super charge your energy levels” and “give you a zzaapp for a week”. They are targeted at people who need to stay up late, have a long drive ahead, but especially for “pepping people up for parties.”
On its website, it boasts that Zzaapp “can be consumed with alcohol, so you can still sink a few with your mates”, “you enjoy more party time because it amps your body and brain instantly” and it provides a “vitamin and mineral hit.”
“They are quite obviously not suitable for young people and children, and possibly even dangerous,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Most concerning is that they warn against taking more than five pills in a day and that the effect of one pill lasts for hours.”
Health websites state that the main component of the pill, panax ginseng, should not be taken by children or pregnant women, and may be harmful to diabetics in large doses. Other side effects from large doses include blood pressure changes, diarrhea, dizziness and headaches.
“Pills which are essentially being targeted at adults should not be included as prizes for competitions which are open and available to children, young people and families,” says Mr McCoskrie. “They are not harmless lollies which kids can safely consume a packet of.”
“Parents are right to be disgusted with this blatant disregard for the safety of children at a public event. It is difficult for parents to promote a drug-free lifestyle to their children while companies are handing out adult pills like lollies.”
“We would ask the ZM Radio Station to show more public responsibility, especially with a competition being in such a public place at the height of the family holiday season,” says Mr McCoskrie.