‘It’s not cool’: ‘Cinnamon challenge’ prank can scar lungs, lead to emphysema, study finds

National Post | Life

Don’t take the cinnamon challenge. That’s the advice from doctors in a new report about a dangerous prank depicted in popular YouTube videos but which has led to hospitalizations and a surge in calls to U.S. poison centres.

The fad involves daring someone to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without water.

But the spice is caustic, and trying to gulp it down can cause choking, throat irritation, breathing trouble and even collapsed lungs, the report said. Potentially, the stunt could also lead to serious lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema.

Published online Monday in Pediatrics, the report said at least 30 teens nationwide needed medical attention after taking the challenge last year.

The number of poison control centre calls about teens doing the prank “has increased dramatically,” from 51 in 2011 to 222 last year, according to the American Association of Poison Control…

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