Hollywood-Burglar Nabs Four Packs of Cigarettes, Slips Away

Burglary

The Prinsinn shop in Reykjavík suffered its fifth burglary in one year this week, Vísir reports. Taking a cue from Hollywood, the thief rappelled down through a hole in the roof before breaking a narrow hole in a glass door to escape. The burglar stole into the night with four packs of cigarettes.

“Mission Impossible”

The owner of the Prinsinn sweet shop in the Árbær neighbourhood of Reykjavík, Guðjón Jónasson, is no stranger to break-ins. Having suffered several burglaries in the past, Guðjón told Vísir yesterday that no valuables are stored in his shop overnight.

Enter a cat burglar.

Burglary
Gujón Jónasson (Screenshot from Vísir.is)

Rappelling down a hole that he had sawn in the roof, a masked thief landed on Guðjón’s shop floor earlier this week and headed for the cigarette cabinet. Thwarted by the near impregnability of the cabinet, the thief panicked. With four packs of cigarettes on his person, he headed for the exit, but was unable to escape – so he cut a hole in the glass.

“But the hole, as you can see, is only yay big,” Guðjón told Vísir. “I can barely fit my shoulder through it. But somehow, the burglar manages to jump through the hole. He gets stuck, tips over, and leaks through the window. It’s like a scene from a movie.”

Sjoppa
Guðjón Jónasson (Screenshot from Vísir.is)

This is the most elaborate break-in attempt that Prinsinn has suffered according to Guðjón: “This person probably watched Mission Impossible one too many times. I wonder whether there’s something bigger in the works.”

If asked if he had a message for future burglars, Guðjón responded bluntly: “Don’t do it. There’s nothing of value to be obtained.”

Security footage from the break-in can be viewed here.

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.”

New Laws on E-Cigarettes Go Into Effect Today

New laws governing the import, use, and safety of e-cigarettes, as well as provisions meant to discourage young people from using these products go into effect today, RÚV reports. These are the first laws in Iceland to specifically address e-cigarettes and their use and conform to existing laws on e-cigarettes that have been put in place by the European Council.

Under the terms of the new law, the Minister of Health will be responsible for setting regulations with further provisions regarding the quality, safety, and ingredient descriptions for e-cigarette products. These provisions will take effect on June 1. Those who import e-cigarettes and their refills and accessories have also been given a deadline for conforming to the new regulations on package labeling. E-cigarette products that do not conform to the new provisions will be legally saleable until September 1, 2019.

Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir says that the new laws on e-cigarettes are very similar to those that are in place for traditional ones. Cigarette packaging must, for instance, clearly indicate that nicotine is highly addictive.