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Posted by on Apr 21, 2010 in Pediatrics, Toxicology

Snapshot of Tobacco Poisoning in Children

Snapshot of Tobacco Poisoning in Children


From Pediatrics: a study of tobacco poisonings in young American children.

  • From 2006 to 2008, 13,705 cases of tobacco poisoning were reported.
  • About 70% of cases occurred in kids younger than 1 year of age.
  • Nearly 80% of poisonings were due to the ingestion of cigarettes and (or?) filter tips (vs smokeless tobacco or cigars).

Plus there’s commentary on a charming, new Tic Tac-like product from RJ Reynolds: cinnamon- or mint-flavored Camel Orbs, which contain 1 mg of nicotine per pellet. Although the product is new to the market, there has been at least 1 reported case of tobacco poisoning due to the ingestion of Camel Orbs (by a 3-year-old child).

RJ Reynolds also markets flavored Camel Sticks and Camel Strips.

Last year, the FDA was given the authority to regulate flavored cigarettes (but not other flavored tobacco products), thanks to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The agency was quick to ban candy-, fruit-, and clove-flavored smokes in the United States.

Image of Camel Orbs from

bmartin (1082 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.