WI Poison Center 1-800-222-1222



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Cinnamon Challenge

There's a new trend among teens: The Cinnamon Challenge.

The Cinnamon Challenge begins with a teen being dared to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon without drinking water.

The cinnamon coats and dries the mouth and throat, causing gagging, vomiting, coughing, choking and throat irritation. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are at greater risk of having this result in shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

According to information in the American Association of Poison Control Center's National Poison Data System, which collects information in near real-time about every call made to poison centers across the U.S., the number of calls to poison centers concerning exposures of teens ages 13 to 19 to cinnamon spice has increased dramatically.

In 2012, 222 cases of abuse or misuse of cinnamon were reported in the U.S. In Wisconsin, the Poison Center had six cases reported in 2012 regarding cinnamon exposures; one person needed medical attention.

Please watch for the signs of any of the above health concerns. Call Wisconsin Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if needed. 

Dial 9-1-1 immediately if someone:

  • Stops breathing

  • Collapses

  • Has a seizure

  • Has a life threatening emergency