A pair of New England middle schools sent out warnings to parents about the dangers of snorting Smarties, the latest trend among teens who want to look like they’re snorting cocaine or other drugs.
Snorting Smarties can be harmful for a number of reasons, as outlined by a letter to parents from Scarborough Middle School in Maine. Among the dangers are lung irritation, scarring of the nasal cavity, infections, and even potential maggots in the nose.
“Recently, we have experienced an unsafe new trend among our middle school students: smoking or snorting the candy Smarties. Our research has taught us this phenomenon is happening across the country and is the subject of many YouTube videos,” read the letter, entitled “Important Health Information for Parents Regarding the Candy Smarties.” “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.”
A similarly worded warning went out last week to parents of students at Portsmouth Middle School in Rhode Island, CBS News reported.
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Both letters cited Dr. Oren Friedman of the Mayo Clinic as to the potential maggots that could form in the nasal cavity due to snorting Smarties.
“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,” read the Scarborough warning.
Other dangers of snorting Smarties include allergic reactions, coughing, wheezing and possible respiratory arrest. A doctor also may have to dislodge a Smartie from the nose if it gets stuck in the nasal cavity.
Both schools were concerned that snorting Smarties could also lead to future cigarette smoking and drug use, even though “there is no addictive piece to Smarties.”