Navigation Links
FDA to Weigh Safety of Tobacco Lozenges, Strips

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- They may look and smell a lot like candy, but dissolvable, smokeless tobacco products aren't for kids. The safety and risks of "dissolvables" are the subject of a three-day U.S. Food and Drug Administration meeting this week.

"Dissolvables" are flavored mints, strips and sticks of smokeless tobacco. These products are not stop-smoking aids. Instead, they are designed to allow people to satisfy their cravings for nicotine in places where smoking is banned.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is test marketing Camel Orbs, Camel Strips and Camel Sticks in two cities, and Star Scientific Inc., is marketing two other dissolvable tobacco products, Ariva and Stonewall. Many public health advocates are concerned about the risks these products pose to children and teens, namely possible addiction and nicotine poisoning.

"If you wanted to design a product that would appeal to youth and addict younger adolescents and adults to nicotine, this would be it," said Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "These products are designed to look like a candy and addict the user permanently."

Teens can pop these products without any of the telltale signs of smoking cigarettes or the mess associated with snus, which are teabag-like pouches placed between the upper lip and gun. Before long, he said, they're addicted.

Another worry is accidental ingestion, resulting in nicotine poisoning. An April 2010 study in the journal Pediatrics showed that smokeless tobacco products are the second most common cause of nicotine poisoning in children, after cigarettes.

"If children are already ingesting cigarettes, we cannot doubt that they will ingest dissolvable tobacco that is specifically designed to taste good," Winickoff said. "Just because they smell like chocolate or mint and look safe, they contain nicotine and are potentially harmful for adolescents and could start a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Parents of young children need to be aware that these products have the potential to cause a serious overdose."

Mild symptoms of nicotine poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and headaches. Severe nicotine poisoning can lead to involuntary twitching, muscle paralysis, heart palpitations, seizures or death.

One milligram (mg) of nicotine can cause vomiting and diarrhea in a small child, according to the study. The Camel dissolvables contain between 0.6 mg and 3.1 mg of nicotine, depending on the product. Smokers inhale about 1 mg of nicotine in a typical cigarette.

When the Pediatrics study was released, Orbs manufacturer R.J. Reynolds stated that it had taken steps to prevent accidental ingestion of Camel dissolvable tobacco products by youth, including child-resistant packaging and educating poison control centers about the products and possible effects of accidental ingestion.

"The bottom line: Tobacco products, along with many other types of goods, need to be kept out of the hands of children," the statement concluded.

Now all eyes are on the FDA. The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gives the agency authority over the manufacture, distribution and marketing of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Winickoff said he hopes the FDA will do whatever it can to keep these products away from children and teens.

"We could consider capping the amount of nicotine in each piece so you could eliminate or drastically reduce potential to cause a fatal nicotine overdose if the entire package was consumed," he said.

Other pediatricians and public health advocates raise similar fears about these products.

"You can sneak them into a classroom," said Dr. Lee Beers, a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "This increases the potential for early tobacco adoption and increasing levels of addiction. There doesn't really seem to be any reason to have tobacco in a format that is much more easily ingestible and with quite a few downsides, particularly when think about children and adolescents. Children can and will get into anything even if the packages are childproof," she said.

Dr. Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends at the American Cancer Society, said there are many unknowns about dissolvable tobacco products. "At this point, we don't know the full range of what is in them," he said. "I don't see any potential in these dissolvable products other than to keep people smoking."

More information

Visit the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to learn more about the risks of smoking and dissolvable tobacco products.

SOURCES: Jonathan Winickoff, M.D., pediatrician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and associate professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Lee Beers, M.D., pediatrician, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.; Thomas J. Glynn, MA, MS, Ph.D., director, Cancer Science and Trends, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Ga.

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. More, Faster Weight Loss Seen With Gastric Bypass Than Banding
2. Study suggests junk food in schools doesnt cause weight gain among children
3. Overweight Teen Girls May Have Higher Acne Risk
4. Weight Gain Often Unrecognized by Young Women
5. Certain Diabetes Drugs Might Aid Weight Loss
6. Weight Loss Surgery May Help Diabetes
7. URI pharmacy researcher discovers new gene that regulates body weight
8. Scientists reassess weight loss surgery for type 2 diabetes
9. Extra Calories, Low Protein Are Culprits in Weight Gain
10. Experts urge BMI method for calculating weight in kids with eating disorders
11. Weight Loss Surgery Linked to Fewer Heart Attacks, Deaths
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
FDA to Weigh Safety of Tobacco Lozenges, Strips
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Cycling, running, and ... take on extra meaning the morning of February 28, 2016. , That’s when ... Park and thousands will exercise to help children and families at Joe DiMaggio ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... A ... of bacteria could be effective in fighting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of ... Their study showed that small molecule analogs that target the functions of SecA, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Using a combination of two blood ... children and adults, according to a new study by researchers at the School of ... Children and Adults: Using Combinations of Blood Glucose Tests ,” published in Frontiers in ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... International telepathology consultations can ... and KingMed Diagnostics researchers. Their review of more than 1,500 pathology ... pathologists resulted in significantly altered treatment plans for more than half of the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Philadelphia-based non-profit promoting breast and prostate cancer education and prevention—is joining forces with ... evening of philanthropy and Hollywood elegance on December 7, 2015 at the Union ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... BOCA RATON, Fla. , Nov. 30, ... of Public Research (the Institute) announced today that ... , a medical device start-up company with technology developed ... creation based on publicly-funded research, and bridges early funding ... -based universities and research institutions. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Baxalta Incorporated ... leader dedicated to delivering transformative therapies to ... conditions, today announced the launch and first ... an extended circulating half-life recombinant factor VIII ... full-length ADVATE [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant)]. The treatment ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Months Ended 30 September 2015 2014RestatedChange%Turnover 545,575 , 518,852 , ... 384,242 , 9.8 Hospital Management Service Income ... (18.3) Medical Insurance Administration Service Income , 2,780 ... and Accessories Sales , 89,645 , 94,580 ... 2,822 , 2,917 , (3.3) Gross ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: