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Cinnamon challenge – now medically proven to be bad for you

Okay, so the cinnamon challenge has been around for a couple of years (there’s about 768,000 results for the search on YouTube), but now it’s been brought back into the firing line as doctors confirm that it can actually cause you medical harm (surprising, no?)

A report published in online journal Pediatrics says it can cause choking, throat irritation, vomiting and even collapsed lungs. There were at least 30 teenagers who needed medical attention after attempting the stunt in 2012, the report said. The authors also stated:

Given the allure of social media, peer pressure, and a trendy new fad, pediatricians and parents have a ‘challenge’ of their own in counselling tweens and teens regarding the sensibilities of the choices they make.

The American Association of Poison Control Centers recorded a dramatic jump in spice-related poison centre calls, from 51 in 2011 to 222 last year, and has warned against its “intentional misuse or abuse”. Their cautionary press release also warns attempts can lead to breathing issues and pneumonia in the long run, as cinnamon is made up of cellulose fibres that do not biodegrade if they enter the lungs.


Source: NPR

For the uninitiated, the challenge is basically to swallow a tablespoon of ground cinnamon without any water in 60 seconds. Sounds fairly straightforward, yes? Well (as the report has identified) the spice is caustic, and cannot be digested without water, generally resulting in a plume of spice bursting from the attempter’s mouth. Often accompanied by laughing and/or crying from the punter and onlookers.

After a particularly bad experience (albeit on the fourth time she had attempted the stunt), American teen Dejah Reed even launched the NO Cinnamon Challenge, urging others to stay aware from the dare.

Doctors have basically confirmed what we already knew – the cinnamon challenge can be dangerous, and should be attempted at your own risk. But if you’re silly enough to do it, you can’t really get mad if others have a giggle at your expense.

But this is also an excuse to share with you our favourite CC  vids (again, don’t try this at home, kids):

Last year, YouTube’s fave funny gal Jenna Marbles posted that if she got 1 million likes by Valentines Day, she would do the challenge dressed as Drake. The reason for this is rather hazy, even to her.


Cinnamon challenge slow mo.

And finally the wonderful Glozell, who asks “What’s so challenging about cinnamon, really?” Famous last words if ever there were any.




Published at LUNA Digital.


One thought on “Cinnamon challenge – now medically proven to be bad for you

  1. My son (9 years old) begs me to let him…now I can give him an actual reason why I’m saying NO!!! 😉

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