Saturday 23 February 2013

Nicotine Isn't Dangerous When Pharma And The State Supply It ... To Kids

I thought I'd read this story once before, but it seems it is brand new.
Sixteen elementary school students were taken to the hospital after they ate nicotine lozenges they thought were candy.
The 9- and 10-year-olds were taken from the South Side Wendell Green Elementary School in ambulances this morning after some children became ill with nausea and upset stomachs. “The children had taken them when they were distributed to the classroom,’’ Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said. "They thought they were candy.’’
Oh, silly me, it's from the wrong country. I was thinking of this.
Nicotine patches are being handed out to schoolchildren as young as 12 on the NHS without their parents' knowledge, it has emerged. 
Nurses employed by NHS South West Essex have been distributing patches to young pupils during fortnightly visits to schools, where they speak to children confidentially. 
One mother said parents should have been consulted on the decision to hand out the powerful substitute patches.
Andy White, headteacher at Woodlands School, admitted NHS nurses visited the school, but denied the school was involved in dishing out the patches. 
'I know nothing about this and as a school we are not giving out nicotine patches, it is not our policy, but it might be NHS policy,' he said.
Or it could have been this, I dunno.
A boy of 14 collapsed after chewing 45 sticks of nicotine gum - equivalent to 180 Marlboro Light cigarettes - in just 25 minutes. 
Aiden Williams overdosed on the Nicorette gum, designed to help smokers quit the habit, after it was handed out by counsellors at his school. 
DECCA Service manager Margaret Storrie defended the council's policy of handing out Nicorette gum to children without telling parents. 
She said: 'DECCA is a confidential service engaging with young people and we do offer nicotine replacement gum to help young smokers quit. 
'We always encourage young people to speak to their parents and we often organise meetings with family members so young people get the support they need. 
'Aiden overdosing on gum like this is the first time such an incident has happened and we are disappointed to hear about it. 
'Aiden's friend who was originally given the gum would have been told very clearly how often to use it by the worker who gave it to him. 
'We always make sure clients understand not to give out their gum to anyone else.
Stand down, parents, the state has it covered. You didn't really think they were your kids, did you? And kids, don't worry about that growing a spine and telling your parents thing either. You're too precious to see a blue pack of cigarettes - they have to plain packed as you're all stupid - but incredibly grown up enough from anywhere between nine and fourteen to make balanced decisions on pharmaceutical products.

How bizarre is it that state bodies in supposedly intelligent nations are handing out pharmaceutical products to kids in schools without consulting parents, while at the same time panicking about the remote possibility of under 18s getting hold of an e-cig with that 'deadly' nicotine in it. Time to stop the laughable hypocrisy, methinks.

There are so many clichés can be nailed by this. Big tobacco pharma looking to hook kids; drug dealers hanging around playgrounds; evil business making their products look like candy; nasty bastards using flavours to ensnare our young. Take your pick.

I expect anti-smoking groups have dozens of press releases condemning such appalling practices, no?


DP said...

Dear Mr Puddlecote

Don't forget the glitzy packs designed to be attractive to children. No plain packs for Big Pharma.


1 July is National Smoking Day - feel free to light up

prog said...

Therefore, regarding 'dosage', the safest from of nicotine delivery is tobacco. The traditional way of punishing a young smoker was to force him/her to smoke continuously until they turned green and vomited. Maybe someone has tried this approach with e cigs, though I suspect the smoke was the main cause of nausea. rather than nicotine poisoning.

The greatest danger of e nicotine is that it can be easily sourced as a concentrated liquid. Ultimately, whoever sells it is supplying a potentially lethal 'pharmaceutical' product. How long before some idiot decides to by-pass the e cig in order to get a better 'high'? Or use it to deliberately poison themselves or an unsuspecting third party?

As you allude to above, let's not forget that it all boils down to who controls and profits from nicotine rather than tobacco.

Sam Duncan said...

'We always make sure clients understand not to give out their gum to anyone else.'

Well, evidently they don't. What she means is, “We always - as far as I know - follow the process set down by our regulations that's intended to ensure that clients understand not to give out their gum to anyone else”. As usual, (the existence of a) process is confused with (its successful) outcome, and individual human beings are treated like programmable robots.