Anyone that has been around small children is sure to have noticed that if something looks like candy, a child will try to eat it. Imagine that if a child found a “candy” that was the approximate size of a Tic Tac, having mint or cinnamon flavoring and ate 10 or more of these little things, the child’s curiosity may prove fatal.
This is a probable scenario with the creation and marketing of Camel Orbs, a novelty tobacco pellet. This edible, dissolvable cigarette alternative is a new and reckless method to draw in a younger age group of tobacco addicts.
J.R. Reynolds Tobacco, the second largest tobacco company in the nation is marking these flavored, candy-like cigarette alternatives that are sure to be a gate to life-long nicotine addiction.
“Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics” released a research study revealing the effects of Camel Orbs on children, the audience to which the product is seemingly directed.
With artificial flavoring and the size similarity to candy, small children could easily ingest Camel Orbs and the medical results can be shocking. According to the medical journal “Pediatrics,” the consequences of infant ingestion of Camel Orbs are “weakness, convulsions, unresponsiveness, and impaired respiration and ultimately may lead to death.”
A spokesman from the J. R. Reynolds Tobacco company, David Howard, argued to the New York Times that the products were, in fact marketed to adults and come in child-resistant containers.
That measure is a good try, but falls far from the mark of safety. All it would take would be one time of the container being left open and a child discovering and assuredly eating the contents.
These tobacco candies are not only harmful to children who are sure to confuse them with actual candy, but underaged teenagers are sure to be more likely to utilize these new novelty products.
This is especially apparent in one of the Camel Orbs advertisements, which says “Enjoy Anywhere. Anytime. Anyplace.”
With cigarettes, it is easy to detect minors who have used or are using tobacco products. However, Camel Orbs can be hidden in the mouth and have virtually no scent. Even if a teenager were caught ingesting a Camel Orb, it could easily be passed off as candy.
While the physical implications of the ingestion of Camel Orbs to children may be more readily apparent in young children, reason leads to the belief that repeated usage by teenagers could easily proved fatal through a lifetime of tobacco addiction.
In September of 2009, the sale of favored cigarettes was banned by the federal government, which were considered to be a gateway usage of tobacco for teenagers. That legislation was highly commendable. However, these novelty candy tobacco products are sure to be far more appealing to younger consumers.
When the September legislation was passed, the fruit, candy and clove-flavored cigarettes were removed from the shelves of distributors. Now, instead of purchasing candy-flavored cigarettes, addicts and beginning users can simply purchase the tobacco candy. Tobacco companies seem to be dancing the line between the banned cigarettes and this new candy.
The intentions of the tobacco companies is also apparent in their choice of magazines in which to advertise. They chose the popular magazines “Wired,” “People” and “Rolling Stone,” all of which are directed at younger audiences.
Are the tobacco companies replacing their past consuming generation of smokers, who have either reaped the medical consequences of tobacco usage or have realized the reckless error or their judgment, with a younger, less responsible generation of consumers? The answer is undoubtedly yes.
It is likely that new consumers of Camel Orbs, a product that is sure to be followed by equivalent products from other companies, will be a young generation of consumers. Thus, the project should be taken off the shelves of stores and quickly.