A decades-old stunt in which thrill-seeking teens swallow a tablespoon of dry cinnamon with no water, gag and spew out a cloud of orange dust went viral in 2012, resulting in more than 50,000 YouTube video clips of young people attempting the so-called "cinnamon challenge."
Although the immediate physical effects -- coughing, choking and burning of the mouth, nose, and throat -- are temporary in most cases, attempts to swallow a large quantity of the dry spice may result in "long-lasting lesions, scarring and inflammation of the airway" or even lung damage, says a new research paper examining the dare.
Nationwide, at least 30 cases last year stemming from the challenge required medical attention, in 2012, including ventilator support for some teens who suffered collapsed lungs, says the paper, in the April issue of Pediatrics, published online today.
Source: USA Today. Read full article. (link)