Kids crushing and snorting “Smarties”

smarties_danger_kidsTeens and middle school children are “smoking” and snorting crushed up Smarties candy. Many teens are uploading their Smartie snorting and smoking adventures on You Tube and surprisingly, many of the uploaded videos are filmed while students are in class.

When “smoking Smarties,” the kids aren’t actually lighting a match to the candy. Instead, they crush it into a fine powder in its wrapper, draw it into their mouths and then blow it out in a cloud of dust. Some more advanced Smarties “smokers” are even learning to blow “smoke rings” with the candy.

When “snorting Smarties,” the kids actually do snort the crushed powder into their lungs through their nostrils.

If you think this type of behavior does not happen in your county, think again.  Students have said that it really does happen in  schools, in the lunchroom as well as in class.

Maybe they think it looks “cool” to be snorting a powder up their nostrils, surely they do not get “high” from doing so, however; they could get very sick. Snorting Smarties is very dangerous.

Doctors warn that snorting and/or smoking Smarties can lead to infections, chronic coughing, choking, recurring infections, scarring, asthma, bleeding and even death. In rare cases, maggots can actually feed off of the sugary dust in your nostrils. Doctors say there is nothing safe about doing it.

To smoke Smarties, students crush the candies into a fine powder while it is still in its wrapper, tear off an end, pour

the powder into their mouths and blow out the smoke. Some are able to put the powder into their mouths and blow it out their noses. Thus, they imitate a smoker’s exhale.

To snort Smarties, students use a straw or a rolled up piece of paper to snort the fine, crushed candy powder up into their nasal cavities. Students are also using the candy Pixie Stix in the same manner.

The “benefit” for students engaging in this practice is unknown. However, the risks, associated with inhaling Smarties smoke or snorting Smarties, are many and include:

• Cuts- if the Smarties have not been finely crushed, pieces may act like razor blades cutting the tissue with which they come in contact.

 

• Infection – sugar residue may remain in the nasal cavity, sinuses and/or lungs. This residue may lead to infections, cough, wheezing, and possible respiratory arrest.

 

• Scarring of the nasal cavity – anything snorted can lead to scarring of the nasal passages. Also if a piece of the Smartie becomes lodged in the nasal cavity it may need to be removed by a specialist.

 

• Irritation of the lungs – smoking or snorting Smarties can lead to a smoker’s cough which can cause laryngospasms causing the voice box to spasm or close.

 

• Allergic reaction – if the child is allergic to sugar snorting or smoking Smarties can lead to an immediate allergic reaction which untreated may lead to respiratory arrest and death.

 

• Possible Maggots – Dr. Oren Friedman, a Mayo Clinic nose specialist, has cautioned that frequent snorting could even rarely lead to maggots feeding on the sugary dust wedged inside the nose.

 

Precursor to future cigarette smoking and drug use – although there is no addictive piece to Smarties, the concern is this behavior will lead to cigarette smoking or snorting of drugs

 

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