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Boy, 14, overdoses on nicotine gum

WEST BROMWICH, England, July 20 (UPI) -- The mother of a 14-year-old British boy who overdosed on nicotine gum blames school officials who allowed it to be handed out without parental consent.

The boy, identified as Aiden Williams of West Bromwich, England, fell ill and collapsed after chewing 105 pieces of Nicorette gum in 25 minutes, ingesting quantities of nicotine equivalent to smoking 180 Marlboro Light cigarettes, The Daily Mail reported Monday.

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Aiden told authorities he had been given the gum by another student, who in turn had received it from drug counselors visiting Menzies High School Science College. They had been in the school that morning giving out hundreds of boxes of Nicorette to pupils who smoke.

Mother Caroline Williams told The Daily Mail: "The doctors said that he could have died and he had to be kept in for 24 hours for observation. I know what my son did was stupid, but if anything it proves that these kids can't be given responsibility for taking medication that could do serious harm."

Counsellor Margaret Storrie said, "Aiden's friend who was originally given the gum would have been told very clearly how often to use it by the worker who gave it to him."

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