Study Examines Tobacco Ingestion in Young Children

In related analysis, national poison control data show decrease in inhalant cases in teens
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 14,000 cases of tobacco-product ingestion in children were reported in 2006 to 2008, many of which involved smokeless tobacco products, according to a study published online April 19 in Pediatrics. An analysis in the same issue determined that the National Poison Data System is an important tool for monitoring inhalant abuse in children.

Gregory N. Connolly, D.M.D., of Harvard University in Boston, and colleagues examined data representing all single-substance, accidental poisonings from the ingestion of tobacco products by children under 6 years of age from 2006 to 2008. They found 13,705 reported incidents of tobacco-product ingestion cases, more than 70 percent of which involved infants less than a year old. Following cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products were the most commonly ingested tobacco item, accounting for an increasing proportion of tobacco ingestions with each year of age from 0 to 5 years.

Melinda L. Marsolek, of the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C., and colleagues analyzed 35,453 inhalant cases reported to U.S. poison centers and compiled as National Poison Data System (NPDS) data. They found that the prevalence of inhalant cases decreased 33 percent between 1993 and 2008, was highest in children 12 to 17 years of age, and that, although national survey data shows a nearly equal distribution of abuse between boys and girls, 73.5 percent of NPDS inhalant cases occurred in boys, suggesting boys might engage in riskier usage behaviors.

"Focusing inhalant prevention efforts on the most hazardous products and most seriously affected users may improve and facilitate strategic prevention, enabling interventions such as targeted education, product reformulation, repackaging, relabeling, or prohibition of sales of especially hazardous inhalant products to youth," Marsolek and colleagues conclude.

Abstract - Connolly
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Abstract - Marsolek
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