Study Links Popular 'Cinnamon Challenge' Meme to Lung Disease

This photo provided by Frederick Reed shows Dejah Reed, a Michigan teen who was hospitalized for a collapsed lung after trying the cinnamon challenge.

The Cinnamon Challenge is stupid. Plain and simple. If you’re not familiar with it, take a look at the video below:

Not only is it stupid, it has serious health implications as well.

Read the following from NPR:

What you aren’t likely to see in the videos are the hospitalizations by people breathing cinnamon into their lungs. There were 222 cases of “abuse or misuse of cinnamon by teens” in the U.S. last year, according to calls compiled by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Recently, the number of calls “has increased dramatically,” an alert on the group’s website says.

During the first half of the year, there were about 30 cases that required medical treatment, according to a paper published in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Although the pediatricians who wrote the article couldn’t make a strong statement about documented lung damage from the game, they wrote “it is prudent to warn that the Cinnamon Challenge has a high likelihood to be damaging to the lungs,” the doctors wrote.

They say adults need to help young people understand the risks. “Given the allure of social media, peer pressure, and a trendy new fad, pediatricians and parents have a ‘challenge’ of their own in counseling tweens and teens regarding the sensibilities of the choices they make and the potential health risks of this dare,” they wrote.

Take, for instance, the case of Dejah Reed, a freshman at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., who was hospitalized with a collapsed lung after she inhaled cinnamon during a challenge gone wrong.

She was going in and out of consciousness, Fred Reed, her father, told WXYZ in March. “She really couldn’t breathe at all,” he said. “Be mindful of what would could happen off of such games,” he warned parents and kids.

 

The next time you hear or see a teenager talk about attempting the challenge, warn them of the health risks. You could be doing them a favor.

 

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  • Chacha1

    I never got why people do it! I’ve even seen adults in their 20’s doing it, too.

    When I was younger, I felt like I needed chocolate during my period, and we had none in the house, so I went and got a spoonful of cocoa powder to eat. I thought I would just swallow it and be ok (stupid, I know that now) and I ended up inhaling some of it and it irritated my lungs for a couple of hours. A week later I had a really horrible cough that lasted for 3 months. It was so bad that I thought I was going to die from coughing fits, gasping, and losing my breath, especially at night. My doctor gave me an antibiotic, then tested me and told me I have mild asthma…not sure if it came from that incident, or if it was always there, but thank God it wasn’t something worse.