The kids (aged 6 to 12) were transported from Jacklyn Academy to Broward Health Medical Centre (BHMC) following (what is being reported as) a game to see who could eat the most pieces of Nicorette gum.
After consuming a number of the 4mg tablets, the children quickly began reporting symptoms of nausea and light-headedness.
BHMC’s Dr. Hector Ortiz said: “Seven children that were brought here to the emergency department because they took nicotine gum. Basically, apparently, one of the children took the pills to school, and he wanted to share with everybody else.”
“They tried to compete how many they could take, so all the kids are basically stable. One of them is a little more symptomatic than others, but I think they’re gonna do well. Nicotine gum can produce vomiting, irregular heartbeat, decrease of the blood pressure [and] sometimes can produce seizures in high doses.”
Nicorette gum is marketed under a variety of flavours
- White Ice Mint - A burst of mint flavor (that improves teeth whiteness)
- Fruit Chill - Fruit flavor that lasts
- Cinnamon Surge - offers bold cinnamon taste
- Spearmint Burst - Spearmint flavor with a hint of chamomile
- And Mint
The pack was purchased from a store by one of the children.
In 2009, a 12 year-old child from West Bromwich collapsed after munching down 45 sticks of nicotine gum in the space of 25 minutes – after he’d been given them by the Drug Education, Counselling and Confidential Advice.
In 2013, 18 young Chicago children had to go to hospital after they were told the nicotine gum they were eating was just a normal pack of mints.
Vapers might wonder where is the Scott Gottlieb press conference about the child-friendly flavours and the gum being marketed to children? Where is the Food And Drug Administration letter giving companies 60 days to show how they are going to prevent any further illegal sales to underage buyers?
The incidents highlight the glaring hypocrisy running to the heart of the recent FDA announcement that it might ban flavoured eliquids. There’s not been a single tweet about this sad turn of events from Stanton Glantz, Martin McKee, David Bareham or Simon Chapman. There’s no equivalent of the “Vaping poison put children at risk” headlines.
On the rare occasion that someone does address the issue of children misusing an adult product, the call is for more parental responsibility and not for products to be subjected to ridiculous levels of regulation. No mention of banning them from looking like sweets or to have the flavours removed.