BOSTON, April 19 (UPI) — Nicotine pellets — flavored with cinnamon or mint — resemble candy and may result in accidental nicotine poisoning in children, U.S. researchers said.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. produces dissolvable Camel Orbs, which promotional literature says contains 1 milligram of nicotine per pellet as well as Camel Strips, which contain 0.6 mg of nicotine per strip and Sticks, which contain 3.1 mg of nicotine per strip.
The products, sold as tobacco products, serve as a vehicle for nicotine for smokers in places where smoking is banned.
Lead author Gregory N. Connolly of the Harvard School of Public Health said in 2007, 6,724 tobacco-related poisoning cases were reported among U.S. children age 5 and under.
Connolly said 1 mg of nicotine can cause nausea and vomiting in small children, but a 4-year-old child ingesting 14 Strips or four Sticks and could suffer severe toxicity, while ingesting 16-27 Orbs could cause death.
“This product is called a ‘tobacco’ product, but in the eyes of a 4-year-old, the pellets look more like candy than a regular cigarette,” Connolly said in a statement.
“Nicotine is a highly addictive drug and to make it look like a piece of candy is recklessly playing with the health of children.”
The findings are published online in the journal Pediatrics.
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