A popular Internet meme has lead medical experts across the country to warn people about the consumption of ground cinnamon.

Originated in 2001, and increasing in popularity with the growth of YouTube, the "Cinnamon Challenge" consists of someone attempting to eat a spoonful of ground cinnamon in under 60 seconds without the benefit of something to drink.  The challenge results from the cinnamon coating the mouth and causing dryness, resulting is gagging, coughing, and possibly vomiting.  Teens with respiratory problems, such as asthma, are at a great risk of respiratory distress from the shortness of breath.

In 2011, Poison Control centers reported 50 calls of teens with harmful exposure to cinnamon.  In the past three months the number of cinnamon related calls has almost tripled from all of 2011, and of those calls over 120 were classified as intentional exposure, with 30 needing medical evaluation.

Alvin C. Bronstein, MD, FACEP, the managing and medical director for the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center warns people that though the Internet videos may seem funny, the risks should not be ignored,

“Although cinnamon is a common flavoring, swallowing a spoonful may result in unpleasant effects that can pose a health risk... The concern with the cinnamon challenge is that the cinnamon quickly dries out the mouth, making swallowing difficult. As a result, teens who engage in this activity often choke and vomit, injuring their mouths, throats and lungs. Teens who unintentionally breathe the cinnamon into their lungs also risk getting pneumonia as a result.”

I want to make something VERY CLEAR.  The following videos are not intended to promote these activities.   They are merely to prove a point of the the potential complications in doing such a stunt. If you try to do this challenge after reading this article, you are dumb!  Even the website cinnamonchallege.com warns against it.  Get a clue!

via Yahoo