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Enticing Kids To Smoke With Nicotine Candy

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, April 19, 2010 11:10 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Tobacco, R.J. Reynolds, Smokeless Tobacco, Nicotine, FDA, Tobacco Control Act

Getting kids to enjoy nicotine at an early age is one of the fears of researchers looking at RJ Reynolds newest smoking cessation tool.


IMAGE SOURCE: Orbs image/ Tobacco Products.org Web site

Camel Orbs

The nicotine laced candies were intended for smokers to indulge in their smoking habit in a smoke-free setting.

But now researchers, writing in a published report, warn that the nicotine “candy” can be consumed by children and poses a serious health threat.

Last year tobacco giant, R.J. Reynolds introduced the tobacco product called, Camel Orbs, which is a nicotine pellet resembling a Tic Tac mint/candy containing one milligram of nicotine per.

Flavored with cinnamon or mint, children can consume the pellets and be sickened by the quick absorbing form with as little as one milligram of nicotine.

"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. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and to make it look like a piece of candy is recklessly playing with the health of children," study author Gregory Connolly, director of the Tobacco Control Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a university press release.

The research is published in the April 19 online edition of Pediatrics.

Children’s Health

The Orbs will be sold in grocery and convenience stores, readily available to young people. The company also produced Camel Strips and Camel Sticks.

Symptoms of nicotine poisoning can include nausea and vomiting. Ingesting 10 to 17 Orbs could be lethal, according to researchers. In one case, a three-year-old consumed the little Orbs. His poisoning was reported to the Oregon Poison Control Center.

In all, researchers looked at more than 13,000 cases of children ingesting smokeless tobacco products. More than 70% were ingested by infants under the one year of age.

In response, R.J. Reynolds says that it has made its packaging ‘child-resistant.”

The FDA has new regulatory powers over tobacco under the FDA Center or Tobacco Products and is reportedly paying close attention to these data.

The dissolvable nicotine candies could become the next issue it seeks to regulate under powers generated by Tobacco Control Act. Last September, the FDA banned the manufacture of import fruit flavored cigarettes, designed to appeal to young, potential smokers. #


Anonymous User
Posted by WilliamPGH
Monday, April 19, 2010 12:41 PM EST

What about nicoret chewing gum that looks like candy its been out for years and no one has said anything, now RJ reynolds makes something and the world stands on end. Simply laughable.

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, April 19, 2010 1:29 PM EST

Good Point. I checked out the package on Nicorette Gum and it does resemble some of the popular packages, though the Orbs are more colorful. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall when RJ Reynolds tells the ad agency how to create packaging?

Nicorette here:

Posted by Truckie D
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:32 AM EST

I think this is being blown completely out of proportion.

Since smoking is prohibited when hauling hazmat, I tried all of the mentioned products (as well as others) looking for an alternative to cigarettes.


All of them taste fairly nasty. Not only that, but they're all relatively expensive (especially when compared to candy). The only source for them locally (except for the gum) was a local tobacco store - which prohibits entry to anyone under legal age.

I finally ended up getting some nicotine patches to use. Even those leave a taste in your mouth that's not terribly pleasant. They're not cheap either.

As far as the packaging, it may be child resistant, but it was almost truck driver proof. I had a tough time getting the stuff out of the package.

Personally, I think this whole issue is little more than paranoia. The gum has been around for quite a few years, and it doesn't seem to be causing much in the way of problems.

Also, it's up to parents to keep this stuff away from their children

Comments for this article are closed.

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