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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – More than a half dozen children were hospitalized Friday morning after eating nicotine mints, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

The department tweeted out a picture of Nicorette Mints and stated, “FLFR responded to a day care where 7 children accidentally ingested Nicorette mints. All children transported to Broward health in stable condition.”

“I thought it was candy,” said 9-year-old Jaheim Moore.

Moore is one of seven students from Jacklyn Academy Private School on 325 SW 27th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale who was hospitalized.

Moore spent more than four hours in the ER attached to an IV after paramedics say he swallowed Nicorette mints medicated lozenges which adults use to quit smoking.

Moore says a classmate offered the mints with a game of “who could eat the most”.

“We thought it was candy,” he said. “He gave me two. I spit it out and I threw up.”

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue says out of 27 lozenges in the container, 26 were consumed.

“You know kids are gonna be kids,” said Edward Moore, Jaheim’s father. “I don’t blame the academy. It’s not their fault.”

Broward Health officials say the kids treated ranged in age from 9 to 12.

Their symptoms included rapid heart beat, low blood pressure and nausea. At high doses, Nicorette can cause seizures.

“They didn’t know what they were doing,” said the ER pediatrician Dr. Hector Ortiz. “Keep all medicines like these away from a child’s reach.”

Where the child got the Nicorette is a mystery, although Jaheim’s father said the student who brought it to school claims he bought it at a store.


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