Flavored Tobacco Pellets Attract Youth
With the tobacco industry in a state of flux due to the decreased popularity of smoking and many areas adopting clean air laws, new smokeless products are entering the market. A new study suggests the marketing and packaging of one such product is likely draw in a younger crowd of consumers.
Camel Orbs, produced by the U.S.'s second largest cigarette manufacturer, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, are are pellets made of ground tobacco and nicotine and flavored with mint or cinnamon. The pellets are to be consumed just like breath mints. In fact, some say the packaging of Camel Orbs strongly resembles Tic Tacs.
Harvard School of Public Health professor Gregory Connolly told the New York Times that the production of Camel Orbs is irresponsible and dangerous. "Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, and to make it look like a piece of candy is recklessly playing with the health of children," he said. Connolly is also the lead researcher for this study.
Connolly's study revealed "an extremely high level of absorbable nicotine because of the alkalinity of the product," according to the New York Times. The study estimated that ingestion of 10 to 17 Orbs would be enough to kill an infant.
Spokespeople for Reynolds maintain the product is only marketed to adults and deny the resemblance between Tic Tacs and Camel Orbs.