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The Cinnamon Challenge: A Dangerous Teen Fad

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By Brittany Cooper

Burley, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Multiple news agencies have come out with the most dangerous teen fads of 2012. The Choking Game and drinking hand sanitizer make the list. But the Cinnamon Challenge is also included.

The Cinnamon Challenge involves teenagers challenging each other to eating a spoonful of cinnamon without drinking any water and they have to complete the task within a minute.

These teen fads might be recognized on a national level, but the Choking Game and the Cinnamon Challenge have made themselves known in the Magic Valley.

Steve Copmann, the principal at Burley Junior High School says, "we had the Choking Game. We had a couple of kids last year doing that where they basically cut off oxygen to their brain and pass out and get some sort of a high off it. We got parents involved and put an end to it."

Nicholas Hunsaker, a seventh grader has seen his friend take on the Cinnamon Challenge firsthand.

Hunsaker adds, "we go over to his house, there's a whole bottle of cinnamon, he just like puts it in his mouth and just sits there until his face is completely red and he just goes 'bluh' all over. And it looked horrible."

–"How much cinnamon did he put in his mouth?"
– "About two spoonfuls. It looked really full."

Even one spoonful though, can lead to serious health consequences.

Mary Jensen, Epidemiology Manager, South Central Public Health District adds, "teens are ending up in the hospital because they're inhaling it into their lungs. It can cause lung infections and it can cause a collapsed lung."

As for Hunsaker, the thought of trying the Cinnamon Challenge doesn't tempt him.

"No one can really swallow it, it's cinnamon, it's hot and I think it's just a bad way to do things that you're not supposed to," adds Hunsaker.

Often times, when trying to swallow cinnamon in this capacity, it can results in coughing and vomiting.


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