U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today said he is alarmed by a recent study on the dangers of smokeless tobacco, particularly statistics that indicate hundreds of children may be mistaking these products for candy, such as M&Ms and Tic Tacs. In a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, he asked the agency to work in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration to find solutions that will prevent unintended sickness and death caused by smokeless tobacco products.
"When a tobacco product looks like candy, children's lives are put in danger. We need to take swift action to protect children and infants from these items and ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands," Pryor said.
Smokeless tobacco products are the second most common case of nicotine poisoning in children. The American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed data from 61 poison control centers and identified 1,700 cases of nicotine poisoning from smokeless tobacco products. Nicotine poisoning can cause nausea or vomiting, and severe cases can result in convulsions, respiratory failure, and even death. The American Academy of Pediatrics study can be found here.