According to Hard Deadlines author John McDaid, who is also a Portsmouth parent, an employee of Portsmouth administration sent out an e-mail Thursday that warns of "a new trend among some of our middle school students - smoking or snorting the candy, Smarties."
McDaid is requesting information about who sent out the warning Thursday.
The e-mail from the Portsmouth School District, posted below, also warns that snorting Smarties candies "may lead to cigarette smoking or snorting of drugs."
The email is posted verbatim below.
A message from PORTSMOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOLImportant Health Advisory for Parents Regarding the Candy, Smarties
We have recently become aware of an unsafe, new trend among some of our middle school students - smoking or snorting the candy, Smarties. Our research has taught us this is a widespread phenomenon and is the subject of many You-Tube videos.
To smoke Smarties, students crush the candies into a fine powder while it is still in its wrapper, tear off an end, pour the powder into their mouths and blow out the smoke. Some are able to put the powder into their mouths and blow it out their noses. Thus, they imitate a smoker’s exhale.
To snort Smarties, students use a straw or a rolled up piece of paper to snort the fine, crushed candy powder up into their nasal cavities. .The “benefit” for students engaging in this practice is unknown. However, the risks, associated with inhaling Smarties smoke or snorting Smarties, are many and include:
- Cuts- if the Smarties have not been finely crushed, pieces may act like razor blades cutting the tissue with which they come in contact.
- Infection – sugar residue may remain in the nasal cavity, sinuses and/or lungs. This residue may lead to infections, cough, wheezing, and possible respiratory arrest.
- Scarring of the nasal cavity – anything snorted can lead to scarring of the nasal passages. Also if a piece of the Smartie becomes lodged in the nasal cavity it may need to be removed by a specialist.
- Irritation of the lungs – smoking or snorting Smarties can lead to a smoker’s cough which can cause laryngospasms causing the voice box to spasm or close.
- Allergic reaction – if the child is allergic to sugar, snorting or smoking Smarties can lead to an immediate allergic reaction.
- Possible Maggots – Dr. Oren Friedman, a Mayo Clinic nose specialist, has cautioned that frequent snorting could even rarely lead to maggots feeding on the sugary dust wedged inside the nose.
- Precursor to future cigarette smoking and drug use – although there is no addictive piece to Smarties, the concern is this behavior may lead to cigarette smoking or snorting of drugs.
This e-mail has been sent to you by PORTSMOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you wish to discontinue this service, please inform PORTSMOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL either IN PERSON, by US MAIL, or by TELEPHONE at 401-849-3700.Parents, what do you think about the email and warning? Is this really a trend? Tell us in the comment section below.