Doctors Warn ‘Cinnamon Challenge’ Could Be Dangerous

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A common spice is creating an uncommon problem among teens. It’s called the “cinnamon challenge” and doctors are warning it could be dangerous.

The cinnamon challenge is an old stunt that is making the rounds with a new generation of teens and is popping up all over YouTube and Facebook.

The challenge works like this: A person swallows an entire tablespoon of ground cinnamon without  water, but the results usually end in coughing, choking, gagging, sometimes vomiting and always burning pain.

“It’s dangerous and I never want to have that feeling again,” said one 9th grader, who didn’t want to be identified. She said she was dared to do the challenge last month.

And it’s not just teens who are getting into trouble. New Haven’s Clinton Avenue School principal is on leave, accused of letting  kids in the lunchroom down doses of the spice.

There are no accounts of death by cinnamon, but doctors at Winthrop University Hospital say it’s a dangerous dare. It can raise  blood sugar levels, burn the throat and get into the lungs.

WATCH: CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports

“If it gets into your lungs, it can cause asthma or pneumonia,” explained Dr. Joseph Greensher.

Several schools nationwide have formally warned their students about the cinnamon challenge. Doctors say parents should also tell their kids it’s really no joke.

A school in Pennsylvania has actually banned some boots because students were smuggling cinnamon into schools that way.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…


One Comment

  1. Katie says:

    I really wish I’d read this before I did the challenge…it got into my lungs when I tried to talk…do I have asthma, now?? =(

  2. Erica Skipper says:

    I’ve did it before. and its nothing to play with. i say KIDS PLEASE DONT TRY IT . it doesnt feel nice. it makes you throw-up dizzy, throat burns. its just not a game.

  3. A teen that is not stupid... says:

    This “challenge” is completely ridiculous. I am in high school and I haven’t even given it a thought, except that it was idiotic.

  4. Mike says:

    Big deal, a spoon of cinnamon. When I was in HS stunts involved whole bottles of hard liquor. Now if they were doing this with nutmeg, that would be really bad, that’s a disgusting high.

  5. thussaiththewalrus says:

    Dear None:

    True, and facts are pesky things! Republicans are more highly educated than Democrats (the goofy college professors are overbalanced by the guys doing time in the big house, the millions of ghetto rats, the noisy union thugs, and the terminally stupid).

    So, any activity that rquires thinking will be taken by Republicans; YEAH!!!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Political parties have nothing to do with the issue at hand. In any case, just because Democrats fight for the lower classes doesn’t make them any more uneducated than a Republican. I’m guessing that you support the Republican party, have you seen the news lately? They are fighting like uneducated little boys. I could understand if they fought about more important things, like the United States in general, but they aren’t.

      Any activity that *requires* thinking will be taken by the best. Not any one party. Maybe one day both parties will work together instead of bashing each other like idiots.

  6. Joseph says:

    It’s the best thing that could happen!

  7. Do Real Drugs says:

    when i was in school we just smoked weed all day. never got caught either. kids are dumb.

  8. ben says:

    i did it once and im sry ok i cant take it back

  9. Space Camp says:

    These kids are so bored that they need something more exciting…like Space Camp. Seriously.

  10. Jeff Benson says:

    let’s have a SWISHEL challenge.

    The ingredients vary, and are all healthy WHILE someone somewhere has an allergie to in the least one of the ingredients, or the combination of 2 or more.

    My point, these games are inappropriate.

  11. JFK says:

    This was also fabricated about garlic powder much like this — both leave you feeling sick enough to never want to do it again.

  12. Rugbyball says:

    If you have to do a prank do a funny one like the 10 man lift.
    Doesn’t have to be 10 men, as many people you can get, boy or girl, bet that one person can pick up XX number of people, in my example say four, and tell them they have to sit on floor and lock arms very tight, then have the lifter walk up, pumping self up to do this amazing show of strength, only to have him step back and away while others walk up with a bucket of water each and pour it on the pour folks on the ground. Was a great Rugby prank on the new guys.
    Stupid sill prank and no one is hurt.

  13. Mari N says:

    Next we’re going to have to show our ID’s in a supermarket to buy Cinnamon……….STUPID IDIOTIC KIDS………..

  14. White Plains Gentleman says:

    Yeah, pick up a musical instrument like an electric guitar or trumpet or a baseball or football, and start doing something active!!!! And forget playing these stupid dangerous games with cinnamon.

  15. Bklyn mom says:

    It’s amazing to me what stupidity kids (and adults) come up with! Pretty soon cinnamon will be locked up in supermarkets like spray paint in hardware stores or Sudafed in drug stores. Can we please stop abusing household items? This is truly ridiculous.

    1. hillcoguy says:

      When cinnamon is locked, only the lox will have cinnamon!

  16. JP says:

    Our children of today are much too bored and put very little value on their lives and those around them.

  17. CT Native says:

    These kids have too much time on their hands. Do your homework and get a job!

  18. Know a Dr. says:

    That old book of Karl Meninger M.D. from the 1930’s “Man
    Against Himself” still holds true ,we must play with our lives and
    hopefully that “accident” does not end in an unwanted death.
    Meantime I will keep my Cinnamon with a dab of butter on sourdough toast.

    1. Can't stand MORONS says:

      Yea… don’t forget to take your Garlique and drink your Welch’s Grape Juice either.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York

Get Our Morning Briefs

Watch & Listen LIVE