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April 21, 2010

Comments

Emily

LOL I used to hide my mom's cigarettes or replace them with rolled up paper. She would get so mad, but that's what they told us to do in Health Class!

Paul

Feh. There was "tobacco candy" when I was a kid. Never made me want to smoke!

Emily

I had tobacco candy too (actually bubble gum) but Hello! It didn't have nicotine in it. Big difference!

Thomas Babcock DO

As a physician I am concerned with the dangers from smoking (lung cancer, chronic lung disease)but these do not come from the nicotine content (which is involved with the addiction or habit forming properties). The problems with chewable tabacco also do not arise from the nicotine--the oral cancer results from other characteristics of the tobacco. I cannot address the specifics of nicotine toxicity to children, but it is my impression that when children are poisoned from eating tobacco products, it is not the nicotine that is responsible. If our priorities are to eliminate smoking, to decrease the incidence of lung cancer and other diseases related to smoking and to chewing tobacco, then we should applaud effort of the tobacco industry to offer alternatives.

Emily

Thomas, I think this is the part of the article Chaya is referring to--I don't know if you read it yet:

"The study also found 13,705 reports to the nation’s poison control centers of ingestion of tobacco products of all sorts by children under age 6 from 2006 through 2008, of which 1,768 were from smokeless products.

Professor Connolly said researchers found one specific case of accidental ingestion of a Camel Orb pellet by a 3-year-old in Oregon, although the child did not need medical attention. Other children suffered nausea or vomiting from eating other tobacco products. But Professor Connolly estimated that the nicotine in 10 to 17 orbs could kill an infant."

Chaya Harrison

Thanks Emily. The way I see it,the monster will never admit defeat and die. The tobacco industry will find ways to ensure its profits, and will find creative and innovative opportunities to ensure that their addictive and life-altering products remain a mainstay in people's lives.

Rocky

I have to agree with Thomas. Sure it's a tobacco product, but nicotine and tobacco are not the ingredients that causes the most common health problems associated with smoking or chewing. And how is this really any different than nicorete gum? except that it's being produced by the tobacco companies.

However, if they are marketing to children I'm not surprised. As I recall, sometime back last summer or fall a law passed (I think Federal, but I can't be positive) that prohibited tobacco companies from selling flavored cigarettes, specifically because they are designed to get young people hooked. After all, cigarettes taste awful, so it helps to have another flavor when you're first starting.

And finally, the article quotes someone criticizing the tobacco company saying, "The difference here is that kids potentially will be watching grown-ups ingesting these products." Maybe that's true, but the why isn't anyone worried about kids watching their parents down 3 cups of coffee before lunch? Tobacco mints solve a lot of the smoke-related problems, thereby bringing tobacco consumption down onto the same plane as caffeine. And how many people in this country have a caffeine addition that no one seems to be concerned about?

Thomas Babcock DO

Thank you, Emily. You are correct. The Naitonal Institute for Occupational health and Safety estimates the potentially lethal dose of nicotine at 5 mg/kg or a little over 2 mg per pound. Since the disolvable nicotine comes in 0.6 to 3.1 mg doses, a small child could easily get a lethal dose if these were treated as candy. There are many things we use which do cause this potential harm to small children, for example the iron content in vitamins.

On balance, the concept for an alternative to smoking should be welcomed, but a capsule or pill less likely to be mixed up with candy would be preferable. I am not aware of a caffeine "candy" but there are pills for those so inclined. Wouldn't this be a better alternative than nicotine candy?

Dymphna

The tobacco industry is truly reprehensible. A product that is highly addictive and if used as directed, will kill you, is still allowed to be sold in our country. There is no rehab for those most heavily addicted to cigarettes, which, it is said, is harder to kick than heroin.

My own husband has COPD (Emphysema) and can not get off of cigarettes that will kill him.

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