Snorting Smarties candies is becoming a "widespread phenomenon" among kids at one Rhode Island middle school and now officials are warning parents of the possible side effects, including nasal maggots.
Administrators at Portsmouth Middle School sent an email to parents last week detailing the new trend of students crushing up the little candies and snorting the powder, WPRI.com reported.
The notice warned of the health consequences of snorting Smarties, including nasal myiasis, which occurs when flies are attracted to the rotting candy lodged up in the nasal lining. The insects lay larvae eggs that then hatch into maggots.
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Sniffing the Smarties powder can also cause lung irritation, allergic reactions, and nasal scarring.
"If the Smarties do end up getting into the lung, then that can also cause infection," Dr. Gail Burstein, health commissioner in Erie County, N.Y., told The Sun News
. "It is an irritant; it can cause wheezing and maybe chronic cough and asthma and sinus complications. And, ultimately, if someone is allergic to sugar or the contents of Smarties, then they could end up having an anaphylactic reaction and dying."
The practice of snorting Smarties is not new. There are YouTube videos dating back to 2007 that show teens ingesting the crushed-up candies through rolled-up dollar bills, as if sniffing cocaine.
Recent instances are also not limited to Rhode Island. Last year, 15 teens at a middle school in Hamburg, N.Y., were caught snorting Smarties, according to the New York Daily News
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