Common for Children to be Admitted to Hospital with Nicotine Poisoning

There are several cases a week of children being admitted to the hospital with nicotine poisoning after ingesting nicotine pouches, RÚV reports. Ragnar Grímur Bjarnason, chief physician at the Children’s Hospital, says most poisonings occur at home and many parents don’t realise that nicotine is a strong toxic chemical that can have much more serious consequences for children than adults.

Snus, a moist tobacco powder, is illegal in Iceland, but nicotine pouches are very similar. These are small, hand-or premade sachets filled with loose tobacco powder and then held between the upper lip and the gum for extended nicotine release. Although cigarette smoking has declined in Iceland, nicotine pouches have seen an increased popularity in recent years, particularly among young people. In 2021, nearly a third of Icelanders aged 18-34 were using nicotine pouches on a daily or nearly daily basis.

See Also: Health Minister Presents Bill to Regulate Nicotine Pouch Sales

Nicotine poisonings among children are not a new phenomenon, says Ragnar Grímur. “Naturally, when everyone was vaping, the oils were being left out all over the place. They smelled good and were pretty colours. So at that time, we were getting a lot of those poisonings. They’re also flavoured and taste much better than cigarettes in an ashtray, which was the main cause of [nicotine] poisoning a few decades ago.”

Nicotine poisoning is very serious for children and can necessitate intensive care or even be life-threatening.

“Most people who have tried nicotine know what the most common reactions are,” says Ragnar Grímur. “There’s nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and discomfort. But in children, it can also have very serious effects on the central nervous system.”

Sixteen-Year-Old Walks Around Iceland in 43 Days

Sixteen-year-old Eva Bryndís Ágústsdóttir has finished her solo walk around Iceland, RÚV reports. The 1,500km (932mi) walk – which Eva Bryndís undertook to raise money for the Iceland Children’s Hospital – took her 43 days, during which time she walked an average of 35km (21.7mi) a day. On her longest day, she walked 46km (28.6mi).

“There are so many feelings,” she remarked at her journey’s end. “I’m tired, pretty exhausted. I’m also a bit down. It was obviously a remarkable trip – it was so much fun and it’s too bad that it’s over. Finally, I get my summer break now,” she said.

Eva Bryndís was raising money for the Children’s Hospital in honour of her brother, who has been struggling with illness for a long time, and received good treatment at the hospital. She said she enjoyed seeing Iceland by foot. “It all went amazingly well. I was really lucky with the weather, which is odd, because this is Iceland.”

Other than a blister and a bit of muscle stiffness, Eva Bryndís is none the worse for wear than she was when she started. She raised ISK 1.3 million ($10,563/€9,538) for the hospital during her walk, but hopes that this amount will increase with company and other contributions now that the walk has been completed. She will continue collecting donations for another month, up until her 17th birthday on August 28.

Donations to Eva Bryndís’ fund can be made via bank transfer:

0545-14-001153

Kt: 290802-2290