Cinnamon Challenge Warning
March 16, 2012 by staff
Cinnamon Challenge Warning, A craze in which people swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without water could choke participants, doctors have warned. The so-called Cinnamon Challenge has resulted in some people being admitted to hospital. However, this has not stopped an army of young people taking part in the craze – and even a host of adults, including the Governor of Illinois and two NBA basketball players.
The ‘challenge’ has been around for years but – somewhat inexplicably – has suddenly spiked in popularity again with a surge of videos being uploaded to YouTube.
About 30,000 clips tagged with the words ‘cinnamon challenge’ have been uploaded to the video sharing website.
Participants are seen pouring the finely-ground spice into their mouths and trying to swallow it without water.
The challenge is that because the spice is slow to break down it gets stuck in the throat – and as people try to swallow it they cough, gag and vomit.
Videos show people coughing up clouds of cinnamon, to raucous laughter in the background.
The Cinnamon Challenge involves swallowing a spoonful of ground cinnamon without drinking any liquids.
It is incredibly difficult as the spice dries the mouth out too quickly.
The challenge went viral on social networking sites last year and developed a celebrity following after Big Brother featured it as a ‘house’ task in 2011.
NBA stars Nick Young and JaVale McGee also posted a YouTube clip of themselves doing the Cinnamon Challenge.
However, doctors say the prank is dangerous as it could result in particles of the spice being inhaled through the windpipe and into the lungs, which could cause inflammation – and even choking.
A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration told the Wall Street Journal: ‘It is an obvious choking hazard and there is a risk of inhaling the dust. This certainly is not advisable.’
One video alone has been viewed almost 9 million times since it was uploaded last month. It shows a woman filling a ladle with cinnamon and carefully pouring the powdered spice into her mouth.
Moments later, she spits out the powder and a coughing fit ensues. Eventually she downs water to try to get rid of the cinnamon.
Other videos show teenagers coughing up clouds of powder and vomiting.
Parents are being warned to educate their children of the dangers after a student was admitted to hospital last month with lung problems.
And some schools in the U.S. have banned students from bringing the spice on campus in a bid to stop them from taking part in the Cinnamon Challenge.
According to the Wall Street Journal, one high school principal was forced to email parents after the students spent four days in hospital after attempting the challenge.
Arthur Williams, principal at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, said: ‘The kids all know about this from the Internet but the parents have no idea.’
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