Camel Orbs Smokeless Tobacco Pellets Pose Risk to Children Who Think It Is Candy

In 2009, a poison control center in Portland, Oregon, reported a case in which a three-year old ingested a Camel Orbs pellet. Camel Orbs is a new brand of smokeless tobacco introduced by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and intended as a temporary form of nicotine for smokers in settings where smoking is banned.

In another incident in 2009, a police chief in Talent, Oregon, 280 miles south of Portland, found a group of teenagers sharing Camel Orbs taken from one of their older brothers.

More recently, researchers have warned that Camel Orbs poses a threat to children due to its resemblance to candy. Specifically, the product contains cinnamon or mint flavored dissolvable pellets of tobacco that resemble Tic Tac mints, and sold in similar packaging. Curious children are thus tempted to try the product. And because the product is quick-absorbing, it is more toxic when ingested. Each pellet contains 1 mg of nicotine, sufficient to induce nausea and vomiting in a small child.

Update: The Food and Drug Administration has announced a study of dissovlable tobacco products.