Keeping drugs out of schools is hard enough, but officials at one school are finding they need to stop children from huffing candy as well.
11Alive, an NBC Atlanta affiliate, reports that a 9-year-old student at Porterdale Elementary School has been suspended for two days after he was caught crushing up Smarties candy and inhaling the powder through his nose. No word on whether or not he sniffed the Smarties through a Twizzler.
This may sound like a freak occurrence, or merely the case of one overly curious child, but sniffing powdered candy, or pretending to “smoke it” by blowing the powder through a tube, has become something of a trend in schools across the nation. According to the boy’s mother, her son was only following the example set by other students.
“He told me he had witnessed a student in class, he had actually watched her. He’d watched her crush it up and inhale it,” she told 11Alive. “I said, What made you so curious about it? And he said her reaction was like, Wooo!”
According to 11Alive, inhaling the candy causes students to feel a sugar rush and makes users feel as if they’re going to sneeze. It may seem harmless, but inhaling Smarties powder results in the candy entering the sniffer’s lungs. Examiner warns readers that sniffing Smarties can lead to “infections, chronic coughing, choking, recurring infections, scarring, asthma, bleeding and even death.” In some cases, the powder can even attract maggots to feed on whatever sugar dust remains in the nostrils.
The Smarties-sniffing fad has even provoked the makers of the candy to warn against improper use of their product.