Memo to Kids: Do Not Take the Cinnamon Challenge

CinnamonA new report published in the journal Pediatrics warns parents of a bizarre — albeit, immensely popular — fad among young people, which resulted in more than 200 calls to poison control centers last year.

The so-called Cinnamon Challenge involves young people gulping down spoonfuls of grounded cinnamon, usually while being recorded by friends. A YouTube query nets more than half a million videos of teens and adolescents attempting to down the caustic spice — typically, struggling to ingest a teaspoon in under a minute and without drinking water.

The authors of the report state that the “Cinnamon Challenge” poses multiple health risks, including choking, severe throat irritation and even the threat of collapsed lungs. Last year, the study found that at least 30 individuals had to seek medical treatment after attempting the stunt, with some challenge-takers even being hospitalized and placed on ventilator support.

Additionally, researchers say inhaling cinnamon may cause pulmonary inflammation, which can result in both aspiration pneumonia and scarring of epithelial tissue.

“The Cinnamon Challenge is a behavioral phenomenon, a popular dare fueled by peer pressure that, along with competition, often instigates risk-taking behaviors among adolescents,” the authors of the report state. “Given the allure of social media, peer pressure, and a trendy new fad, pediatricians and parents have a ‘challenge’ of their own in counseling tweens and teens regarding the sensibilities of the choices they make and the potential health risks of this dare.”

Photo by TheDeliciousLife | Flickr


Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.


Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.


We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments




Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top