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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Why kids should avoid the ‘cinnamon challenge’

Parents need to warn their kids against yet another stupid health risk that some are taking: a “cinnamon challenge” where a tablespoon of ground cinnamon is swallowed in less than a minute without drinking fluids.

There are more than 50,000 YouTube videos showing teens and young adults taking the cinnamon challenge including one which had more than 9 million views. Mere moments after the cinnamon is ingested, it gets shot back out through the mouth in a cloud of red dust; coughing and choking ensue as the spice triggers a severe gag reflex. In some cases, the choking causes the cinnamon to wind up in the lungs, which can lead to lung damage.

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