Don’t let GloZell’s success fool you. Friends don’t let friends take the Cinnamon Challenge. At least that’s what a new report from medical professionals published on Monday, April 21 in Pediatrics suggests.

MDs (and surprisingly not the satirical newspaper The Onion) found the fad popular with the kids these days (where they videotape themselves attempting to ingest a spoonfull of cinnamon in 60 seconds without the aid of water) can have severely adverse effects on one’s health. According to the article, cinnamon is a “caustic powder composed of cellulose fibers, which are bioresistant and biopersistent,” meaning they “neither dissolve nor biodegrade in the lungs.” Its inhalation can therefore cause “choking, throat irritation, breathing trouble and even collapsed lungs.”

The majority of those symptoms will be apparent to anyone who’s ever seen a Cinnamon Challenge video, but what may be less obvious is the marked uptick in the number of calls to the US American Association of Poison Control Centers due to complications from cinnamon inhalation since the dare became a YouTube phenomenon. In 2011, Poison Control received 55 cinnamon-related calls compared to 222 in 2012. The report also states the fad caused at least 30 teens to seek medical attention in 2012.

Those numbers certainly don’t equate to a pandemic, but they do make this health risk more valid than your average local news teenage scare story and New York Times trend piece. Plus, there’s been at least one semi-serious victim.

Dejah Reed, who was hospitalized for a collapsed lung after performing the cinnamon challenge multiple times, is still experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath months later. She’s started in hopes that her peers won’t share her fate.

No news yet from Pediatrics on when their Condom Snorting report will be available, but expect to see it sometime in 2014.

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