Antipoleez: Breath mints that mask drunk driving? (No!)

Of course the cops are going to find you out, you dodo.

By Farhad Manjoo

Published April 10, 2008 5:37PM (EDT)

This morning I spotted a pitch-perfect P.R. pitch: A new breath mint -- I'm sorry, "revolutionary lozenge-type bad breath eliminator" -- claims to be so strong that it's got law enforcement officials across the nation worried that drunk drivers could use the mints to cover up their misdeeds.

Here's another reason the cops might be miffed: The bad breath eliminator is called Antipoleez.

How can you resist a pitch like that? I couldn't. And neither could Fox News, which claims that the product is "raising eyebrows of concerned consumers."

I called the company's press line and got no answer, so I couldn't ask the most important question: This is all hype, a completely made-up controversy, yes?

I can find no evidence that law enforcement officials are in fact worried about extremely strong breath mints. They needn't be: It's easy enough to spot a drunk, fresh breath or no. Breathalyzers measure the alcohol level you exhale, and they can't be thrown off by breath mints. Don't drink and drive, and don't expect Antipoleez to keep you safe, kay?

You'd have to be a few cans short of a six-pack to buy into this mint's hype anyway. On its Web site, Antipoleez advertises itself in hilariously faux-medical prose: Its "unique combination of components work to increase the consumption of odor producing molecules by the epithelium of the mucous coat of the upper respiratory passages resulting in clean, fresh breath."

There's also this: "It is superior to any other breath freshener or gum because it will not leave you smelling like a fruit and it will work until the next consumption of the odor producing substance."

(The product is Swiss, so I'm guessing "smelling like a fruit" is a translation issue, not homophobe innuendo.)

Notice, too, the hot lady cop Antipoleez uses for its logo. Classy!

Still, if you're interested, you can get a "night-out pack" of Antipoleez (8 mints) for $3 -- that's nearly 40 cents a mint! Or you can buy it in bulk: The "frat pack," with 96 mints, sells for $29 (30 cents a mint, still outrageous).

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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