New fad shows teens 'smoking' Smarties candy

by: Erica Byfield Updated:

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CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. —

A Carroll County parent contacted Channel 2 Action News after she caught her 13-year-old son "smoking" candy.

"I was shocked, it hurt for your child to do something like that," Christy Brown said.

Brown's son, Deven, told Channel 2's Erica Byfield his friend's convinced him to "smoke" a popular candy known as Smarties.

"They were doing it in the lunch room, in classrooms, going down the hallway, in the bathrooms, everywhere," Deven said.

The seventh -grader attends Temple Middle School in Carroll County. The boy told Byfield he did it to look cool.

Doctors said ingesting Smarties that way can have serious health risks, such as lung infections, choking, coughing or in limited cases maggots may feed on the sugary dust in a person's nose.

"The biggest risk with 'smoking' Smarties would really be short -term infections around the nose and irritation in the lungs, and if a child has asthma this may be a potential trigger for an asthma attack," said Dr. James Fortenberry, pediatrician-in-chief of Children's Hospital Of Atlanta at Egleston.

Brown said she wants to make sure other parents know their children may be "smoking" Smarties.

A spokesperson for the Carroll County School System issued a statement saying, "The Carroll County School System is aware of the newest fad or craze known as "Smoking Smarties", a process where children are crushing packs of candy Smarties and breathing in and blowing out the sugar dust created, emulating smoking. We monitor all situations and issues that are potentially harmful or may pose a safety threat towards our students and have taken steps to make our principals aware of this particular scenario. We will make every effort to monitor the exposure of this issue and communicate our concerns to our administrators and teachers as needed. The safety and wellbeing of the students of Carroll County, as always, will continue to be a priority."

Doctors said "smoking" Smarties does not cause a high. Instead it is a way for people to pretend they are smoking.