Experts warn against viral 'Cinnamon Challenge'

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Experts warn that a viral 'Cinnamon Challenge' can lead to choking and suffocation.
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Experts warn that a viral 'Cinnamon Challenge' can lead to choking and suffocation.

A viral online challenge that dares people to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon has prompted medical experts to issue health warnings against the stunt, particularly as it can pose a choking hazard.

The stunt isn't entirely new, as people have been attempting it for years. But in recent months the Cinnamon Challenge has experienced an online revival with a steady wave of new videos being uploaded on YouTube that capture the physical pain of trying to swallow the potent spice.

The reaction among challengers is invariably the same: once they put the spoonful of cinnamon in their mouths, any bravado they had evaporates as they cough and sputter out a cloud of terracotta smoke.

Among some of the high profile challengers: the governor of Illinois and two NBA players, Nick Young and JaVale McGee.

But it also garnered headlines in recent weeks after a Michigan teenager became hospitalized following a failed attempt. The incident prompted school officials and health experts to issue a warning, advising people that it can pose a serious choking hazard, inflame the lungs, trigger an asthmatic reaction and lead to suffocation.

Meanwhile, of the 33,000 Cinnamon Challenge videos on YouTube, the most popular involves an American woman who attempts to swallow a soup ladle-full of the spice, much to her detriment.

‘GloZell's' outrageous attempt, uploaded in January, has attracted more than 10 million hits.

Meanwhile, Cinnamonchallenge.com is a dedicated website for the stunt but falls short of endorsing the antics, advising visitors to just bear witness to the phenomenon instead.

"There are over 30,000 Cinnamon Challenge videos on YouTube. Below are some of the more popular ones, so watch movies of people already feeling the pain."

Watch the most popular Cinnamon Challenge at http://bit.ly/ysDceL.

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