Doctors warning about 'cinnamon challenge'

Dangerous new 'game' among teenagers

Published On: Apr 23 2013 10:19:08 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2013 02:07:34 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

There are videos all over YouTube of kids downing heaping tablespoons of cinnamon into their mouths in a challenge to swallow the entire spoonful without water.

All of the videos show the teens quickly spitting out the cinnamon and coughing, but doctors are warning that while this "game" may make people laugh, it could be potentially dangerous.

"It has caused in some cases hospitalization with collapse of the lung," said Southside Medical Center's Dr. Harold Laski.

Laski told Channel 4 that there is no  "high" that comes from inhaling the cinnamon. So far no one has died from the cinnamon challenge, but the challenge can cause permanent lung damage.

"In time, there's going to be fatalities if it continues at the rate that it is," said Laski.

According to a new report released by the Journal of Pediatrics, the rate of kids being hospitalized over the cinnamon challenge is soaring.

In 2012, the American Association of Poison control centers received 222 calls about the cinnamon challenge, compared to 51 calls over the challenge in 2011.

Laski recommends parents talking to their kids about it before they face the challenge.

"Watch the YouTube, see what the reaction is in some of the people and what's happening to them," Laski said. "Is that what you want to feel? There is nothing good about it."