First they put cartoon characters on their packaging, and now the tobacco companies are selling nicotine “candy”. If you have young children, please read this post. In fact even if you don’t have kids, but smoke cigarettes, please read this as well. Per an article on yesterday’s CNN.com Health page:
A new generation of smokeless, flavored tobacco products that look like breath mints or breath-freshening strips may be life-threatening for children who mistake them for candy, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Nicotine is a poison, and now we’re seeing smokeless tobacco products that look like Tic Tacs or M&M’s, which parents can leave on the counter and children can be attracted to,” says Greg N. Connolly, D.M.D., the director of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The new products — currently being test-marketed in three cities — include Camel Orbs, which resemble breath mints; Camel Sticks, which are about the size of a toothpick and dissolve in the mouth; and Camel Strips, which are similar to breath-freshening strips. I’ve included a photo. Looks like candy to me!
Despite “child proofing” the packaging, clearly these “poison pills” could find their way into children’s mouths. Nicotine poisoning can cause nausea or vomiting, and severe cases can result in convulsions, respiratory failure, and even death. Just under 0.5 milligrams of nicotine per pound of body weight is the minimum lethal dose for children, according to Connolly.
These products are not even smoking cessation aids; rather, they are marketed as a nicotine alternative. Sure, at least there is no second hand smoke, but I seriously question people will use them in places where they could otherwise light up. Nope this is just another way to make big companies rich at the expense of our health.
I also have to imagine this posses a risk to older kids as well. It’s just one more drug for them to steal from their parents in order to get high. People, I understand how incredibly hard it is to quit smoking, but if not for your own sake, then for the sake of your kids… just say no. And please don’t buy these poison candies.