Smoking Smarties candy

Apparently an increasing number of young people enjoy "smoking" crushed Smarties candy. They inhale the candy dust into the mouth and then exhale, producing what looks like thick smoke. (Above is just one of many video demos on YouTube.) Guess what? It's generally a bad idea. From WCBS:
Mark Shikowitz, a Long Island ear nose and throat specialist, treated a 9-year-old who had pieces of candy lodged in his nose.

"He told his parents that he felt his nose was burning," Dr. Shikowitz said.

The candy eventually dissolved, but Shikowitz said kids could also accidentally inhale the fine powder down the wrong pipe.

"That irritation can cause you to cough, can cause you to laryngospasm, which is your voice box spasming and closing," Shikowitz said.

If the sugar sits in the lungs or in the nasal cavity for a prolonged period of time it could cause an infection.

"Any time you have a substance such as sugar in these areas, which are moist, it creates a terrific growth medium for bacteria," Shikowitz said.
"Alarming Trend: Kids Literally Smoking CANDY" (via Dose Nation)


  1. Not sure why, but when I was in middle school, we used to crush up Smarties and snort them. I would probably not suggest this, either.

  2. I keep forgetting that Rockets are called Smarties in the US. Here in Canada Smarties is the name of an M&M ripoff that uses lower-grade chocolate.

  3. These seem to be rockets, not Smarties. Until I watched the video I was confused as to how the chocolate filling was not tuning everything into a mush.

    Just tell your kids that chronically inhaling fine dust has been linked to lung cancer. Truthful, and problem solved.

  4. as a punk skater kid who did rails of pixy stix while learning to curb grind, i am fascinated by this new trend. that kid smokes with more style than i do!

    also: any family that keeps a dictionary on the kitchen table is a healthy family in my book.

  5. i also thought they were smoking the chocolate candy smarties. and i wondered why the kid had an obvious american accent, and yet somehow had access to canada-only smarties.
    by the way, i can’t confirm or disprove daemon’s remark that they are made from lower-grade chocolate than M&Ms, but they are still damn good! i’ll take smarties over plain M&Ms most of the time. peanut M&Ms, there’s another story!

  6. What’s wrong with these kids? Don’t they have crack pipes so that they can smoke their candy properly?

  7. What I want to know is, where are the parents? How can they let their kids get ahold of this stuff? As a nation I feel we can no longer stand ignorant of what is happening to our children and I call for the outright banning of any candy and candy-related products.

  8. At least the kids not doing Jenkem… but yeah, inhaling crushed-anything I would assume is a bad idea. Just let the kid smoke a doobie now and then… jeez… i mean c’mon. :-)

  9. nothing new, we used to scoop up chalk dust from an actual chalkboard and do similar tricks, though we learned quickly not to inhale the stuff at all

  10. @13 – Antinous, it should be obvious that the kids don’t have crack pipes to use because their parents and siblings are using them all.
    The ‘Smarties’ they refer to in the ‘news’ report are from Ce De Candy Inc. and they are basically just sugar with some coloring and citric acid in them to make them a little sour. The ones that contain chocolate are made by Nestlé. I always hated ‘Smarties’ when I was a kid because they tasted like crap. But, inhaling food may just be the next trend, starting with chocolate.

  11. I don’t think the kid is actually inhaling it. Seems to be doing more of a cigar/pipe thing. I doubt it would actually harm the kid in the long run, especially since it isn’t getting in his lungs.

  12. I hear the Bulgarians are controlling most of the distribution in the states. Every time I visit my good friend Vitaly, his dad is always either extremely giddy and optimistic or completely debilitated in a comatose state.

  13. “Smarties is the name of an M&M ripoff”

    Smarties were first produced in 1882, M&M’s in 1941.

  14. You know, when you take away toy guns from kids they use sticks.

    When you take away candy cigarettes (for you young folks, things like “Lucky Spikes” used to be a common candy), they’re going to smoke smarties.

    Honestly, these are just kids being kids!

    (Cool. My captcha was “opium mater.” candy opium, anyone?)

  15. D- for finding a sideways entry into smoking.
    A+ for even having a dictionary in the house.

    Captcha was “soldier’s prisoner”

  16. Alarming Trend: Kids Literally Smoking CANDY

    You keep using that word, “literally”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  17. smarties (one pack) = .50 cents
    doctor’s visit to dislodge candy shard from nose = 100 USD

    looking cool with equally retarded friends? priceless.

  18. I am so sick of the youth dare culture. Why the idea of earning the respect of your peers by doing something stupid, dangerous, illegal, or some combination of the above came about, I’ll never know.

    “Jump! Jump, Timmy! You’ll be fine!”


    “Hey, let’s sneak into that abandoned building!”

    Idiocy != Bravery

  19. Haha… Ha. Hm.

    You’re such a kidder, Takuan.

    Please tell me you’re kidding.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Oh, gods…

  20. I smell moral panic!

    I think the moral panic here is teaching kids how to smoke something. Not unlike the outrage over those great tasting candy cigarettes that were around when you were a kid. They called them “trainer cigarettes”. Back in the day kids would shove smarties and pez up the nose, not smoke them.

  21. yep. When I see kids smoking or “smoking”, I cringe. Then I feel an urge to go find some tobacco executives and hurt them. A lot.

  22. When I was in high school about a decade ago I had friends who snorted Pixy Sticks. Basically the same concept except Pixy Sticks are already ground up for you.

    Re: Smarties v. Rockets, I have learned something today as well.

  23. Used to snort Pop Rocks for laughs- it was like a bowl of Rice Krispies going off between your ears.

    This was c.1980, when you would be handed freshly mimeographed school assignments w/ the ‘get high’ scent.
    Wonder if there’s a cologne of that?

  24. Children get a really hard time for the things they might be doing. Oprah herself spoke out against the “Rainbow Party” but I don’t think that one’s ever, ever happened.

    If a child wants to smoke so badly they’ll use Smarties maybe look at the parents here because something has gone wrong.

  25. Does anyone remember the candy cigarettes you used to buy in back in the 70’s. I think they were sticks of bubble gum with a loose roll of paper around them that was printed to look like a cigarette complete with red tip. There was a layer of corn starch like powder in between the paper and bubble gum so you could put it in your mouth and puff out and it looked like the cigarette was smoking. Good luck finding those these days, unless it’s off a vintage candy website.

    I’m going to lead a frickin’ armed revolt if this leads to a banning of Smarties. Them’s me favorites!!

  26. Candy cigs are still around, they are horrid skinny sticks of flavorless sugar candy. But they look cool when you hold ’em in your mouth! Just like Dad!

  27. This was c.1980, when you would be handed freshly mimeographed school assignments w/ the ‘get high’ scent. Wonder if there’s a cologne of that?

    That was the very best thing about homework. 1980 would have been close to the very last year for mimeographs though. I can smell it as I type this.

  28. you know, i always suspected that smarties were nothing more than freebased pixy stix. this video does nothing to discourage this metaphor.

  29. “…kids could also accidentally inhale the fine powder down the wrong pipe. ” Unless by “wrong pipe” he means the pipe to the stomach, wouldn’t it all be going down the wrong pipe?

  30. These kids are idiots. Obviously they missed the point of smoking AND eating candy. For all you kids out there, cigarettes are made as a nicotine delivery system, not a way to look cool (although they can sometimes be both, right up until someone comes close enough to you to smell your breath or your lungs turn black and you die). Candy is meant for eating. It’s delicious. Those “Smarties” (I was confused, being from Canada, as those are Rockets and Smarties are delicious competitors for M&M’s). Why can’t they just play Pogs like we did when i was in school? Pogs were sweet.

  31. I knew people who crushed and snorted Smarties 20 years ago.

    Nothing is really new.

    I guess there’s a difference between using flavored sugar powder to simulate smoking and using it to simulate cocaine, though,

  32. when I was a kid… (ok I’m 45 now so I’m officially “old”) we use to get Candy Cigarettes… it was kinda the same thing… they came in two different kinds… first was a stick of candy with a red end to look like a lit cigarette…
    the second was cool.. they were bubble gum in a paper tube more like the real thing… by blowing into the tube you could blow out a small cloud of dust that looked like smoke… it was soooooo cool to my then 5 year old self… LOL

    my point is… let kids be kids… they will play at such messed up stuff for a wile then they will grow up and move onto something new… just allow them enough freedom and they will become health adults…

    1. I remember them being called Popeye Cigarette’s and I still love them. And yes you can still easily find them in candy stores – maybe not corner stores though.

  33. I saw a kid snort wasabi, salt and ketchup on a dare once. I thought it was a rather bad idea, but it was still hilarious.

  34. Sorry….it cracks me up that these reporters are just now reporting on this trend as if it’s something kids just came up with. Twenty years ago when I was a wee tyke and in fifth and sixth grade, we were all daring our friends to snort crushed Smarties and pixy sticks. (And blowing the dust off the end of pixy sticks like cigarettes.) And I grew up in a land populated by stunningly naive little Mormon kids who had no clue what we were emulating. (I think I was about seventeen or eighteen before the other shoe dropped. “Oh, so, like people in movies snort cocaine. Oooohhhh.” Yeah, colour me naive.)

    Random things kids in our school got up their nose, besides Smarties: One kid in seventh grade snorted Jell-O up his nose on a dare. And another kid stuffed a Whacky Wallwalker up his nose.

  35. Ha! I wonder what those reporters would say to the amount of salty licorice i ate as a kid. We all ate truckloads of these Similar candies would also be sold under names like Skipper’s Skraa (with means Chewing Tobacco) and in the shape of pipes.

    For the uninitiated, salty licorice is licorice candies to which ammonium chloride is added as a flavor enhance.

  36. Its kids doing this that are going to get smarties removed from the market. They’re my favorite american candy…

    I think I’ll go stock up…

  37. yeah, when i was a kid we snorted pixie sticks and jello powder, too — for about a week. i’m guessing that everyone else who did it here must be a gen-xer, like me. let ’em do it, i say — they won’t be doing it for long. it gets old quickly.

  38. Kids these days…

    On a semi-related note, I’ve always wondered if caffeine (which can come in powdered form) can be “rocked up” like cocaine and then smoked.

    At least then I wouldn’t have to buy Starbucks coffee or drink diet Coke!

  39. @58

    It can be smoked, but it’s rather likely you wouldn’t want to, as smoking ~200 mg of anything is a pain in the butt.

    I’ve heard snorting it’s rather painful, and not worth the buzz.

  40. From the quotes in the article, I expected the kid to be around 10. An 18 year old faking smoking with Smarties is a little sad.

    If he’s that eager to smoke he should just buy some cigarettes or, if he’s in a state/county that moved it up to 19, he has to know someone who’s 19 already.

  41. Pro-positive life tool number three: Have your light infantry create a thick smokescreen. Then lay down some suppressive fire until the snipers are in position. But look out for surface-to-air antioxidant missiles! Then by the time Reinforcements shows up…

  42. For all the folks talking about how they don’t sell candy cigarettes any more, take a look at this… It’s the same thing only branded with superhero characters. I wish I was joking.

  43. At a young age after watching Scar Face I started snorting powdered sugar, “sugar the gateway drug”

  44. While the chocolate smarties may have been around since 1882, it was not under the name “smarties” which was first used by Nestle in 1993.

    Ce De Candy’s smarties in the US have been around and called smarties since 1949.

    And yes, the chocolate smarties are older than M&Ms which were first made in 1941 after Forrest Mars saw soldiers eating something siilar during the Spanish Civil War.

    Yay Wikipedia.

  45. Smarties were made by Rowntree’s, and first called by that name in 1938.
    Rowntree’s were “aquired” by Nestle in 1993 a sad day in the history of British confectionery.

  46. I ate Smarties, but I didn’t inhale…

    Seriously, this is hardly a major public health issue. Adam and Eve probably had to punish Abel for sticking crap up his nose or getting real creative with the ground-up wheat.

    As for the candy cigarettes, they were cool! My parents came home one day to find all us kids sitting at the kitchen counter with candy cigs hanging out of our mouths and tiny glasses of apple juice in front of us, playing blackjack. When they asked us what we were doing, we told them we were “playing Las Vegas.” And my parents don’t smoke, drink, or gamble. All 7 of us grew up just fine and none of us smoke, none are alcoholics or compulsive gamblers and most of us don’t drink or gamble at all. Really, our parents were a MUCH stronger influence on us than the existence of candy cigarettes.

    Wacky Hermit

  47. Whatever happened to the good old days? Is smokin’ banana peels not good enough for these kids or somthin’?

  48. What’s the big deal? I smoked a chili cheese burrito laced with WD-40 just 10 minutes ago. Leave’em alone!

  49. umm.. yea all of us at some point or another have put some sugary substance up their nose.. it burns but wtf? smoking smarties?? damn crackheads.. and rappers for promoting crack.

  50. My friends did that in middle school & jr. high and one of them got a really bad lung infection and was in the hospital for a long. I didn’t do it because, unlike what a lot of you are saying, it does go straight into the fuking lungs! Anyone who does this is just trying to decrease their life span!

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