Using several extraction methods, Rainey et al. documented that Camel Orbs, Sticks and Strips contain tobacco, flavors and sweeteners:
1. Tobacco: Measuring the nicotine content of the products, the researchers findings were similar to those reported in Reynolds’ product literature: 1 mg. per Orb, 3.1 mg. per Stick and 0.6 mg. per Strip.
2. Flavors: Rainey et al. found menthol, ethyl citrate, cinnamaldehyde, coumarin, vanillin and carvone. Readers will immediately recognize menthol, cinnamon and vanilla flavors. Carvone is a flavor component of spearmint, caraway and dill, so it also has a long history of use in foods (more here). Ethyl citrate is a derivative of citric acid (lemons and limes); it is a food additive.
Rainey et al. claim that “coumarin is a harmful ingredient and causes liver damage in rodents…and has been banned as a flavor additive to food.” This statement is misleading, as it implies that coumarin is a dangerous chemical that has been added to the dissolvables.
It is true that coumarin is toxic to the liver of rats, but this is due to the fact that rats process this agent via an enzyme system that humans lack. Extrapolating rat liver damage to humans is specious.
It is true that the FDA prohibits adding coumarin to human food (here). Why was it found in Camel dissolvables? It is well known that coumarin is present in some varieties of cinnamon; Rainey et al. found coumarin only in an Orb flavored with cinnamon (more information about coumarin is available here). In 2008, scientists from Germany found coumarin in bakery products and breakfast cereals flavored with cinnamon (here). Should Orbs be considered as dangerous as cinnamon buns and breakfast cereal?
3. Sweeteners: Xylitol and/or sorbitol, non-caloric sweeteners used in many products, were found in all three Camel dissolvables.
4. Others: Rainey et al. note that Orbs contain palmitic and stearic acid, food-grade additives that probably aid in the physical properties of the product (e.g., shape and texture). Strips contain glycerin, a food additive that helps products retain moisture.
In summary, smokers who switch to Camel Dissolvables are consuming smoke-free tobacco products that are consistent with government standards for human foods.