The cinnamon- to-emergency-room challenge

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Teenagers are always looking for a new dumb way to make their friends laugh. In recent years young adults have been posting videos of themselves online doing the “cinnamon challenge.” It’s where someone will down a spoonful of cinnamon without any water. Proceeding to cough it up, they expel a cloud of red powder with tears in their eyes.

Recently doctors have claimed that this isn’t so good for your health. As unbelievable as that sounds doctors are advising that inhaling that much cinnamon can damage your lungs. In a report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, at least 30 teens needed medical attention in 2012.

Report co-author Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, a pediatrics professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine told AP that because cinnamon is made of tree bark it contains cellulose fibers that are difficult for the body to break down. He also described studies conducted on animals exhibiting that cinnamon in the lungs can cause scarring.

A Michigan teen started a website, to tell her story and to tell other teens to “Just say no”. Dejah Reed, 16, explains on her site that she performed this stunt 4 times. On her last attempt she had difficulty and she started to choke. Her father rushed her to the emergency room and she spent 4 days recuperating from a collapsed lung. According to AP her father states that the teen never had asthma or any related problems prior to the incident and now has to use an inhaler for times she finds herself struggling to breathe.

“Ever since this happened to me, I’ve been telling everyone the dangers that can come from this challenge,” Reed shares on her website. “For those who haven’t done it yet, I beg you not to do it! There are still people that are doing it or wanting to do it. So, I’ve come this far to let the world know how dangerous it is. It could risk your health.”

It’s important for young people to realize that something as seemingly harmless as cinnamon can really cause damage. While someone hasn’t been unlucky enough to die from the stunt it’s an outcome to consider. Purposefully closing your airway and putting your life in danger to make a friend laugh is incredibly irresponsible. It doesn’t prove anything except for a gullibility to harm yourself and a total disregard for your life.

The headline was changed from ‘Cinnamon challenge’ to ‘The cinnamon to emergency room challenge’ and the article was replaced with an update version. 4/23/2013 9:27 a.m.
This article was replaced with a updated version. 4/26/2013 5:28 p.m.