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
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