Are schoolkids really "snorting" and also "smoking" Smarties and putting themselves at hazard of contracting sleep maggots?

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Claim: Schoolkids room “snorting” and also “smoking” Smarties and also putting themselves at danger of contracting sleep maggots.

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There are a number of YouTube videos of people chopping up and also snorting Smarties (candy.) write-ups state that children canget ‘nasal maggots’ indigenous doing this. Nevertheless of exactly how idiotic this practice might be, ‘nasal maggots’ smells like a parental fear story to meand i for one am highly skeptical the this; as much as I know flies lay maggots in rotten flesh, not ‘rotting candy in nasal passages’

Origins: Smarties are, in the U.S. In ~ least, a brightly-colored, fruit-flavored pill-sized form of candy developed by the Smarties Candy agency and marketed in cellophane-wrapped rolls. (In Canada, Smarties are recognized as Rockets, and also in the UK Smarties describes another form of candy entirely, vibrant chocolate-coated spheroids comparable to M&Ms.)

In current years news accounts have actually popped increase at assorted times report (always together a supposedly new trend) “fads” and also “epidemics” the schoolkids crushing up Smarties and also either “snorting” the resulting flour (i.e., inhaling it into their nasal passages) or “smoking it” (i.e., placing it in your mouths and also attempting to blow it out of their noses), v the wall surface Street journal writing ago in march 2009 that:

Summit center School in Frisco, Colo., is a tobacco-free campus. Students who smoke cigarettes room suspended.But when a lunchtime crew the sixth-graders last autumn started “smoking” Smarties, the tart, chalky candy discs sheathe in cellophane, lunchroom monitors and also the institution nurse to be flummoxed.

The youngsters didn’t light the candy. Castle crushed it right into a fine flour in the wrapper, tore off one end, poured the powder into their mouths and blew the end fine Smarties dust, mimicking a smoker’s exhale.

“It was freaky,” states Corinne McGrew, a nurse for Summit college District. “My biggest worry was that they would aspirate the wrapper or a totality Smarties and also it would be a throttle hazard.”

The fad at Summit middle School died down ~ a couple of days and also some harsh words from the lunchroom staff. Yet at various other schools and across the Internet, “smoking Smarties,” as the activity has to be labeled, is obtaining popularity. Some children have also taken to snorting it, all to the fear of parents, teachers and also the 60-year-old company that manufactures the candy.

“Snorting” Smarties is something many youngsters across the year have involved in as soon as or double as a lark or a dare, but just like so numerous other similar “look at this devastating thing children these days space doing” warnings propagated by adults, the instances of kids talking around snorting Smarties, institution administrators issuing dire warnings around it, and also inventive youngsters posting videos about how to carry out it all appear to vastly outstrip the real-world incidence of the phenomenon.

The latest recurrence of interest in the purported Smarties-snorting heat was triggered by a January 2014 an alert issued come parents around this “unsafe, brand-new trend amongst students” and also the dangers thereof by Portsmouth middle School in Rhode Island:

Important health Information because that Parents about the Candy, Smarties

Recently, we have actually experienced one unsafe, brand-new trend amongst our center school student — smoking cigarettes or snorting the candy, Smarties. Ours research has taught united state this phenomenon is happening across the country and is the subject of plenty of You-Tube videos. To smoke Smarties, student crush the candies right into a fine flour while the is tho in the wrapper, tear off an end, pour the powder right into their mouths and blow out the smoke. Some are able to placed the powder into their mouths and also blow it out their noses. Thus, castle imitate a smoker’s exhale. To snort Smarties, students usage a straw or a rolling up item of file to snort the fine, crushed liquid powder up into their nasal cavities. College student are likewise using the liquid Pixie Stix in the same manner.

The “benefit” because that students engaging in this practice is unknown. However, the risks, associated with inhaling Smarties smoke or snorting Smarties, room many and also include:

cut — if the Smarties have actually not been carefully crushed, pieces may act like razor chisels cutting the tissue v which castle come in contact.

Infection — sugar residue may remain in the sleep cavity, sinuses and/or lungs. This residue may cause infections, cough, wheezing, and possible respiratory arrest.

Scarring of the nasal cavity — something snorted have the right to lead to scar of the sleep passages. Also if a piece of the Smartie i do not care lodged in the nasal cavity it may need come be removed by a specialist.

Irritation that the lung — smoking or snorting Smarties can lead to a smoker’s cough which can cause laryngospasms resulting in the voice crate to spasm or close.

Allergic reaction — if the son is allergy to sugar snorting or smoking Smarties have the right to lead come an prompt allergic reaction i m sorry untreated may result in respiratory arrest and also death.

Possible Maggots — Dr. Oren Friedman, a mei Clinic sleep specialist, has actually cautioned that constant snorting can even rarely lead to maggots feeding top top the sugary dust wedged within the nose.

Precursor come future tobacco smoking and drug usage — although there is no addictive item to Smarties, the worry is this actions will lead to cigarette smoking or snorting that drugs.

This time around, the penultimate article on that list around the risks of snorting Smarties including “nasal scarring, infection, lung irritation, allergic reaction, or feasible maggots” really captured the public’s fist (even though it had actually been included in similar news reports published five years earlier). Sucking crushed Smarties

into your nose puts girlfriend at danger of “nasal maggots”? Really?

Smarties room made the dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, assorted “natural and also artificial flavors,” and food colorings; yes sir nothing naturally toxic about them, although snorting anything right into one’s nose brings a threat of blockage, infection, and nasal or pulmonary irritation. Contracting maggots native snorting Smarties, however, appears at this allude to be little an ext than a theoretical opportunity rather than a recorded hazard. The school warning reproduced above noted it among the “risks connected with inhaling Smarties smoke or snorting Smarties” and referenced Dr. Oren Friedman, a mei Clinic sleep specialist, top top the subject, reportedly picking up his having actually mentioned that threat as a “rare” opportunity in an post published earlier in 2009:

Mark Shikowitz, one ear, nose and throat medical professional at Schneider children’s Hospital in new Hyde Park, N.Y., treated a boy about 9 years old that complained his sleep was burning since of a Smarties incident. (His parents brought in a Smarties wrapper however weren’t sure how he’d ingested them.) Dr. Shikowitz identified that part of a Smarties must have lodged in the boy’s nose till it dissolved. The son wasn’t harmed.Dr. Shikowitz says Smarties may reason irritation come throats and also noses — and also even lungs if inhaled — but are not most likely life-threatening due to the fact that they eventually will dissolve. “I still don’t think that a great idea,” that says.

Possibility the Maggots

Oren Friedman, a mayo Clinic sleep specialist, cautioned that constant use might lead to infections or also worse, albeit rare, conditions, such together maggots that feed ~ above sugary dust wedged inside the nose.

The hard deadlines internet site queried Dr. Friedman on that issue, and also he acknowledged that he had not learned Smarties-snorting in particular or ever witnessed a situation of Smarties-induced sleep maggots but stated the he “had watched maggots in the nose from other food commodities in general”:

“We walk not perform a examine on this in details … but … we frequently see patients with international materials in your noses i beg your pardon can cause a selection of problems — also years ~ the insult occurs. The street in Smarties can irritate the sleep acutely and over the lengthy term. In enhancement to the local irritation indigenous the international material and also powder, over time, the Smarties have the right to lead to various overgrowth the bugs including viruses/fungi/bacteria. The quote regarding the maggots relates to the fact that when a foreign material, and also especially a food, lives in the nose for a long period of time, infections may occur, worms might reside in the nose, also maggots may grow in this setting — and we have encountered together a difficulty in the past. Hope the assumed of possible maggots in the nose will help dissuade youngsters from snorting the Smarties.”

When asked in a followup if he had actually ever seen Smarties reason maggots, the replied, “Just a possibility. I have seen maggots in the sleep from other food assets in general.”

So yeah, some youngsters have do the efforts snorting Smarties (and will probably be trying it because that as lengthy as Smarties exist), and also yes, that practice does have some potential health and wellness risks. But snorting Smarties shows up to it is in far more a topic of gossip than actual practice, recorded health difficulties stemming indigenous actual cases of it are couple of and mild, and contracting sleep maggots from it is a remote possibility not however observed in actual life.

Last updated: 21 January 2014



Angers, Angie. “School warns Parents the Smarties Snorting Trend.” WPRI-TV . 17 January 2014.

Harris, Jenn. “Snorting Smarties: Eat. Nothing Snort. Uneven You desire Nasal Maggots.” Los Angeles Times. 21 January 2014.

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Searcey, Dionne. “Just say No … come Smarties? Faux Smoking has Parents Fuming.” The wall surface Street Journal. 20 march 2009.