PERMIAN BASIN - A trend that's been sweeping our nation for the last few years is the cinnamon challenge. Many young people have given it their shot and posted their results on the video-sharing website, YouTube.
The rules of the Cinnamon Challenge are simple. You take a spoonful of ground cinnamon and try to swallow it but what happens after that is not a pretty sight.
The pained expressions and choking show what the challenge always leads to.
Some find it hilarious but local drug officials said it's no laughing matter.
"You cannot dissolve this," Kim Henderson, Program Coordinator for the Palmer Drug Abuse Program, said. "You can't produce enough saliva to dissolve it so it's getting into the lungs and to the chest and it causes a choking effect."
NewsWest 9 followed this story after parents called into our station, telling us they've seen and heard about kids doing it here.
While no hospitals in Midland or Odessa have seen any cinnamon cases, parents said many of their kids are learning it somewhere, more than likely online and are doing it.
"Something crazy or different, I guess, for kids to do but they don't realize how harmful it is to them," Nathan Riojas, Program Coordinator for PDAP, said.
Just how harmful is it? Officials said the long-term effects speak for themselves.
"It can be very dangerous especially if it gets in their lungs, then it can cause breathing problems," Henderson said.
"They end up either choking or causing some damage to their esophagus," Riojas said.
Officials hope the Basin's kids will tell the difference between the entertainment of others and their own health.
If you'd like to contact your local hospital to find out the challenge's negative impacts from a physician, we've provided some quick phone numbers.
You can call Medical Center Hospital in Odessa at (432) 640-4000 or you can call Midland Memorial Hospital at (432) 685-1111.