Accidental ingestion of tobacco products is a major cause of poisonings in infants and young children.
A study published in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics examined data on childhood poisonings reported to more than 60 poison control centers.
There were nearly 14,000 cases of children ingesting tobacco products. The majority - 90 percent of them - involved children under the age of 6. And more than 70 percent involved infants less than a year old.
Cigarettes remain the primary culprit but smokeless tobacco products are becoming an increasing risk, particularly among older children. Some of these items look like candy, come in a variety of flavors and dissolvable pellets.
Designed and marketed as temporary substitutes where smoking is not allowed, these products appeal to adolescents.
The study concludes the availability and potential harm of smokeless tobacco products warrants closer scrutiny and more stringent regulations may be needed to help protect children from unintentional poisonings.
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