The list of things to worry about when it comes to children and their safety and well-being is endless. If I allow myself to, I can lose an entire day to fretting over the choices they will make, from the minor to the catastrophic, that have the potential to impact their lives forever. While some of the things I bite my nails over are very unlikely to come to fruition, one choice I know I will do everything in my power to steer them from as they age is the decision to smoke cigarettes.
Aside from the smell, the number it does on a person’s skin, and the mind-blowing drain on a smoker’s finances the habit has become — the impact on a person’s health is the key point I will try to impress upon my kids. That being said, most teenagers consider themselves invincible, I know I did, and I worry that the statistics on lung cancer won’t be enough to deter them.
Recently, I stumbled across an article on a local news site that only increased my fear of being able to successfully plead my case against tobacco use. Tobacco company R.J. Reynolds is currently testing a new line of nicotine-containing products that are smokeless and virtually undetectable. In fact, one of the product looks disturbingly like breath mints all the way down to the packaging. They even leave your breath smelling minty fresh. The company calls them “orbs” and they contain a more potent dose of nicotine than a cigarette.
“If you had 10 of those Orbs, 10 of those mints within an hour, depending upon your body weight, age and everything else, you very well could be dealing with a lethal amount of nicotine,” Jane Alleva, Director of All On Board — a drug and alcohol abuse education coalition — said.
Charlotte, North Carolina is the first market to test the new products which, in addition to the new orbs, also includes Camel sticks and strips. Alleva reports there have already been cases of high school students abusing the products, including using multiple forms at once to attain a nicotine high.
The new products are cheaper than cigarettes and don’t require that the user douse themselves in perfume to sneak past their parents after a night out. Thanks, Big Tobacco for making it harder than ever to ensure our children aren’t exposed to addictive substances.
Have you heard about these new alternatives to cigarettes? How do you feel about them?