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Doctors Warn Teens Against Cinnamon Challenge
Updated May 5, 2013 12:10 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - The Indiana Poison Center issued an alert about a harmful fad becoming more popular among young Hoosiers.

Many teens are taking the "cinnamon challenge," and swallowing heaping spoonfuls of cinnamon without water to wash it down.

Officials said news of the challenge is spreading on social media networks and YouTube, RTV6's Stacia Matthews reported.

Butler University students Jake Allen and Joseph Brenzel said they tried the challenge and didn't get sick.

"I basically put it all on my tongue and just slid it back on my teeth and swallowed it," Allen said.

"I didn't get sick. It tastes really bad and it burns your nose," Brenzel said.

Butler student Ricky Sorrentino had a different story to tell.

"One of my friends tried it and it was ugly. It got ugly in a hurry, actually. It wasn't nice. It took about two minutes, and he was throwing up everywhere. It was brutal. It was funny for us, though," Sorrentino said.

IPC Dr. James Mowry said the cinnamon challenge is no laughing matter.

"It's very irritating and you can have end up coughing and choking. You can inhale it into your lungs and especially for people with asthma; it can trigger an asthma attack," Mowry said.

Medical officials also said unintentionally breathing the spice into your lungs can lead to pneumonia.

So far this year, poison centers nationwide have received nearly 140 calls about cinnamon abuse, nearly three times the number of calls received in 2011.

Doctors want parents to know the cinnamon challenge could be a recipe for disaster.

"They should talk to them and tell them that if they see this on YouTube and it looks like fun, that there are potential serious consequences from it and they should probably not do it," Mowry said.

Fortunately, no deaths have been linked to the challenge.

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