Snorting Smarties: A new trend with dangerous health effects - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Snorting Smarties: A new trend with dangerous health effects

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

It's a trend that seems to be catching on among some kids: snorting Smarties candy.

They grind up the popular candy into powder then inhale it through their nose.

Medical experts say there's no drug-like high, but it can have some pretty dangerous health effects.

Charles Jennissen, M.D., director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at University of Iowa Children's Hospital says luckily they haven't seen any cases, but it's something a lot of kids are trying.

The small colorful candy tablet is now causing concern because the alarming trend is now video clips of it are going viral online, and Dr. Jennissen says it's similar to taking a hit of cocaine.

"That is really like related to snorting cocaine or something, because you have these lines of crystal candies that they're snorting into their nose," said Jennissen. "When you breathe in these crystals it can cause irritation in the lungs, a little more risk for infection. "People who have asthma and problems like that, they might be more likely to get an exacerbation of their asthma problem."

He says snorting the candy crystals can also likely cause sinus infections.

However, it could be more than just trying this viral drug-like experiment, Jennissen says it could be a kid's cry for help.

"It could be a dangerous and cry out that kids need something else that parents need to know about," said Jennissen. "I think a lot of the kids are doing this as their way of showing off, it's kind of like they're being able to experiment with a drug like situation."

Although there's nothing in a Smartie that can get you high, Jennissen says snorting the candy can definitely have some dangers health effects when it comes to you nasal passages and lungs.

Some school districts across the country have alerted parents to this new trend and make them aware of the health effects.

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