Snorting Smarties Warning: Can Cause Nasal Maggots


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Snorting Smarties. That’s what the kids are up to these days.

Last Thursday, parents of students at Portsmouth Middle School in Rhode Island were sent an email warning them about the dangers of snorting crushed up Smarties candy (you know, that chalky-sweet staple of elementary school Halloween parties?).

But here’s the bad part: while it won’t get you high, Smartie-snorting can cause lung infections, bloody noses, and allergic reactions. Oh yeah, it can also invite nasal maggots.

That last horrifying possibility happens when the crushed and rotting candy stays lodged in the nasal cavity long enough to attract flies into the nostril. The fly can hang around just long enough to lay eggs, which typically come in batches of 75-150 eggs for a common housefly and hatch within a day of having been laid. Believe it or not, the presence of nose-maggots even has a medical name: nasal myiasis. Parents have been warned to watch for kids obsessively scratching their noses as an indication that children may have maggots in their noses. Presumably, parents should also pay attention to whether kids are picking wriggling, white boogers.

The snorting behavior, meant to emulate the appearance of snorting cocaine, has become widespread. Fifteen students at Frontier Middle School in Hamburg, New York, were caught doing it, and a nine-year-old boy in Atlanta was suspended from school for snorting. Many Smartie enthusiasts have uploaded videos of themselves snorting--a YouTube search yields 1300+ results—some of which have garnered tens of thousands of views, including the classic “snorting smarties with tampon” (see below), which has over 54,000 views as of this writing.

Reportedly, some kids prefer to “smoke” their Smarties—not by rolling them and lighting up, but by consuming the powder orally, then forcing it through their nasal cavities and blowing it from their sinuses.

“Smarties” is the name brand of a form of wafer sugar candy produced by the Smarties Candy Company since 1949.

Image via Wikimedia Commons