Poison Control Centers - Camel Dissolvables - Nicotine Toxicity..

February 15, 2009 - Smoking a cigarette usually yields 0.5-2mg of nicotine but when placing tobacco in your mouth like Camel Dissolvables then all the nicotine is available for absorption.

Nicotine is one of the most lethal poisons known. Nicotine-based insecticides have been barred in the U.S. since 2001 to prevent residues from contaminating foods. A lethal dose of nicotine is contained in as little as one half of a cigar or three cigarettes; however, only a small fraction of the nicotine contained in these products is actually released into the smoke.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco has started test marketing three dissolvable tobacco products, i.e., Camel orbs - a pellet that looks like candy - similar to a TicTac, soon a flavored tobacco-filled toothpicks will be available followed by edible film strips that dissolve when placed on your tongue. Also Star Scientific flavored lozenges.The taste of these products are usually enhanced by the addition of flavors such as wintergreen, mint and "java."

These dissolvable tobacco products contain between 60 to 300 percent of the nicotine found in cigarettes. Smokers who use these products may get a higher dose of nicotine than they are used to, possibly resulting in adverse reactions such as tremors, nausea, vomiting and agitiation.

While these products are sold in child-resistant packaging, their resemblance to candy and breath mint strips and the likelihood that adults will carry small packages in their pockets or leave them in other unsecured places, means that children may have easy access to them. (In the past small children and even pets were turned off because of the nasty taste of the tobacco but now with flavors they'd be anxious to ingest more. A few drops of pure nicotine placed on the tongue will quickly kill a healthy adult.) Children who ingest one of these products may become pale, shaky, sweaty and may vomit. Because of the pleasant taste of these products, children may want to eat amounts that could result in more serious problems such as slow heart rate and low blood pressure as well as effects on the brain including seizures and coma.

While tobacco companies say they will not market these products to under-age consumers, the appeal to teens is obvious: the product does not look like tobacco, is easy to hide and doesn't cause telltale "smoker's breath" or odor on clothes.

If signs of nicotine toxicity develop, immediately contact your nearest Poison Control Center, e.g., the Indiana Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Reference: PDF Format: New Forms of Smokeless, Spitless Tobacco Put Users and Children at Risk, Indiana Poison Center, 1/1/2009; The same press release in HTML format..