A Dangerous Game to Play, Cinnamon Challenge

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Cinnamon Challenge Side Effects

Cinnamon Challenge, a popular, but deadly game among teens in which they are challenged to swallow one tablespoon of cinnamon within 60 seconds without any sort of liquid to help.

The cinnamon coats and dries out the mouth and throat which makes a person cough, gag, and sometimes vomit. The Cinnamon Challenge also leads to throat irritation because of inhaling the cinnamon. It also causes breathing difficulties and the risk of pneumonia.

Dr. Alvin Bronstein, medical director for the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center said in a statement, “We urge parents and caregivers to talk to their teens about the cinnamon challenge, explaining that what may seem like a silly game can have serious health consequences. Teens who engage in this activity often choke and vomit, injuring their mouths, throats and lungs. Teens who unintentionally breathe the cinnamon into their lungs also risk getting pneumonia.”

Bronstein added, “Although cinnamon is a common flavoring, swallowing a spoonful may result in unpleasant effects that can pose a health risk. The concern with the cinnamon challenge is that the cinnamon quickly dries out the mouth, making swallowing difficult. As a result, teens who engage in this activity often choke and vomit, injuring their mouths, throats and lungs. Teens who unintentionally breathe the cinnamon into their lungs also risk getting pneumonia as a result.”

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), about 88 percent of phone calls in the first three months of 2012 to the nation’s poison control centers were related to the “cinnamon challenge.” They have received 139 calls about teens (13-19) and cinnamon. The number is already up more than 240 percent from the whole of 2011. Although only 25 percent of those calling needed hospital attention, the challenge can be especially dangerous for those with breathing problems like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

“The exposures reported to poison centers indicating intentional misuse or abuse are likely related to the cinnamon challenge.  Unfortunately, videos on the Internet are helping to spread this risky activity among teens.  AAPCC does not recommend using cinnamon this way,” Bronstein said in the statement.

Cinnamon Challenge by GloZell

Cinnamon Challenge Dangerous

The AAPCC is recommending that parents speak to their children about the risk of the Cinnamon Challenge.

You can contact the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

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