The news of "Smartie snorting" generated buzz (we're talking number one trending topic kind of buzz) after students at the Portsmouth Middle School in Rhode Island were caught inhaling the crushed candy into their nasal cavities. Yeah, that. This isn't some brand new fad. Apparently, for years kids have been posting YouTube videos showing how to snort Smarties and sharing their experience with the online world.
Kids are doing this for a variety of reasons: as a form of rebellion, a dare from a friend, and/or to dip a toe into the drug culture in a legal and seemingly harmless way. While the glorification of drugs is thankfully waning (at least I, for one, hope it is), some kids apparently think it's cool to snort up something that resembles a rail of cocaine. While there are no laws against snorting candy, there are side effects that will make you sick: nasal scarring, allergic reactions, a chronic cough, lung irritation or infection, and nasal maggot infestation (yes, you read that right, nasal maggot infestation according to Dr. Oren Friedman, a Mayo Clinic nose specialist).
Smartie snorting is just one of the many ways American kids have tried to experiment or impress their friends by using household substances and food items in a way that resembles drug use. In the 60′s there was the smoking of banana peels, sniffing glue (or other chemical inhalants) has been a trend for decades, and we recently saw the "cinnamon challenge," where kids would attempt to swallow a tablespoon of the spice and hold it for sixty seconds. This is not as widespread a trend like the Rainbow Loom, but it is happening, although some claim that it's overblown. Mommyish wrote in their piece "'Snorting Smarties' Is Not A Real Trend, So Let's Calm Down" that this is just another instance in a long list of "drug panics," stating that "occasionally there are a few legit cases, but never is there a serious trend." Even if you don't believe it's a "serious trend," it's something that should be on parents' radar, and sharing the side effects with our kids can't hurt.
Let's hope there was some kind of punishment for kids, like those in Rhode Island, who were caught snorting Smarties. This is the time to send a message that even though it's legal, snorting any kind of substance isn't acceptable. Taking steps down a road like this could lead to more serious experimental behavior in the future, and that's something we should not take lightly.
As the slogan says, "Just Say No," be it smack, crack, or Smarties.
Photo Credit: Smile Makers
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