Smoking Smarties - Just Say No

Filed under: Teens, Weird But True

smartiesThere is good news and bad news on the teen smoking front. The good news is that teen smoking has been steadily declining over the past few years. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including changes in the way cigarettes are advertised, national anti-smoking campaigns and the increased cost of the cigarettes themselves. The bad news is that while fewer teens are smoking tobacco, some of them clearly still think smoking is cool.

But how does one get that cool smoker look without actually risking the health hazards that go along with tobacco? For some kids, the answer can be found in the candy store. A ridiculous new trend has sprung up where kids emulate the act of smoking by crushing up a roll of Smarties candies, pouring the candy powder into their mouths, and blowing it out like smoke.

It is impossible to know who came up with this brilliant idea, but thanks to the Internet, the phenomenon has spread across the country. Over at Lemondrop, they have uncovered a handy how-to for the novice Smarties smoker featuring 14-year-old Titus Williams demonstrating how it's done.


"It's kind of like eating the candy, but a different way to eat the candy," says Titus. And what do Titus' parents think of his Smarties smoking prowess? After initially being concerned, dad Melvin has come to the conclusion that it's harmless. "I just thought it was funny," he says.

But is it really harmless? Certainly smoking Smarties is less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, but there are some health hazards involved. Oren Friedman, a nose specialist at the Mayo Clinic says that frequent use can lead to infections and, in some cases, maggots. Yep, kids aren't the only ones who enjoy that sugary dust and should some become wedged inside the nose, they may find themselves a walking, talking maggot buffet.

Besides any potential health problems, the real concern here is whether or not smoking Smarties leads to smoking real cigarettes. Titus Williams seems to think not. In fact, his YouTube page urges viewers to "quit cigs and start the smarts."

What do you think? Is this just kids being kids and something parents should ignore and let die down on its own? Or could Smarties really be a gateway candy to something more harmful?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.