Calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) related to cinnamon increased from 51 in 2011 to 178 calls in the first 6 months of 2012, wrote Steven Lipshultz, MD, of University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine in Florida, and colleagues, online in a Perspective in Pediatrics.
Of the 178 calls, 122 (69%) were classified as intentional misuse or abuse “consistent with the cinnamon challenge,” the authors wrote, and about (17%) required medical attention.
The challenge requires a person to swallow a tablespoon of the dry, ground spice in 60 seconds without drinking ﬂuids.
The authors pointed to 51,000 YouTube video clips — one viewed 19 million times — as of August 2012 that showed adolescents watching someone coughing and choking as the cinnamon triggers a severe gag reflex. They said the popularity of the Internet coupled with peer pressure instigated too many cinnamon challenges.
I am so thankful my own children are (mostly) past the stupid stage.