Snorting Smarties a trend in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, parents warned

January 21, 2014 (PORTSMOUTH, R.I.)

Instead of eating them, kids are snorting them. It's something happening across the nation. Videos on YouTube show kids crushing the candy and inhaling it. The bizarre trend is happening at Portsmouth Middle School. Parents received an email alert this week not knowing whether to laugh or be worried about how harmful it can be to their children's health.

As soon as the principal at Portsmouth Middle School found out it was happening with his students, he said he immediately sent an email to parents.

"Well, I got the email last night and I was pretty amazed, never heard of such a thing," said one parent. "Actually I thought it was a little bit amusing."

Parents said they weren't sure how to react to the peculiar pastime.

"As I read more into it and I found out it's on YouTube, it is actually quite concerning," said another parent.

"They laugh about it, they say that they've heard of kids doing it, but they don't imply that it's a big problem or that it's something that a lot of people do," said parent Bruce Digennaro.

The motivation behind the crushing and snorting of the Smarties isn't immediately known. But the harmful effects are real.

"Any time you snort or inhale a substance into your lungs that Is not meant to be, it is definitely hazardous to your health and could have significant health consequences for individuals," said Rebecca Boss, Behavioral Health Care.

Portsmouth's principal said the Smarties snorting wasn't a huge problem, but certainly one parents should be aware of.

"Where do they get these ideas, you know? Can they harm themselves, you know? What will it lead to? They are all concerns obviously," said Adrian Markey, parent.

Boss, an administrator with Rhode Island's Behavior Healthcare Department, says parents should always look for unusual behavior in their children, and search text messages as well.

"Any changes in behavior is definitely an indication that the child is doing something they may not want the parent to know about," she said.

Some of the negative side effects of snorting Smarties include infection and scarring of the nasal cavity.

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