Portsmouth Middle School warns parents about Smartie-snorting epidemic and the risk of nasal maggots

Parents in Portsmouth, Rhode Island got a letter from the Portsmouth Middle School warning them that students may be snorting and smoking ground-up Smarties candies. The letter warns of risks of cuts, lung infections, nasal passage scarring, nose-wedged maggots (!), and future cigarette and drug use. John McDaid, a writer and local investigative blogger, got a comment from Portsmouth School Committee chair Dave Croston, who stated "I can say only that this behavior raises troubling issue of modeling."

Cuts- if the Smarties have not been finely crushed, pieces may act like razor blades cutting the tissue with which they come in contact.

Infection – sugar residue may remain in the nasal cavity, sinuses and/or lungs. This residue may lead to infections, cough, wheezing, and possible respiratory arrest.

Scarring of the nasal cavity – anything snorted can lead to scarring of the nasal passages. Also if a piece of the Smartie becomes lodged in the nasal cavity it may need to be removed by a specialist.

Irritation of the lungs – smoking or snorting Smarties can lead to a smoker’s cough which can cause laryngospasms causing the voice box to spasm or close.

Allergic reaction – if the child is allergic to sugar, snorting or smoking Smarties can lead to an immediate allergic reaction.

Possible Maggots – Dr. Oren Friedman, a Mayo Clinic nose specialist, has cautioned that frequent snorting could even rarely lead to maggots feeding on the sugary dust wedged inside the nose.

Precursor to future cigarette smoking and drug use – although there is no addictive piece to Smarties, the concern is this behavior may lead to cigarette smoking or snorting of drugs.

Portsmouth Middle school "Smarties snorting" scare [update]

Notable Replies

  1. Note that this refers to the American version of Smarties.

    British Smarties, which closely resemble M&Ms, are perfectly safe to snort.

  2. "Watch me freak out the school counselor. She'll believe ANYTHING I say if it's about drugs or sex. Remember when I told her about Jenkem? Or the sex bracelets?"

  3. Back in the day, it was Pop Rocks. A clean, if Rice Krispies-like experience in your sinus cavity. No imagined maggot danger. Portsmouth, get over it... kids do stupid $#!+ and YouTube has ample evidence of that.

  4. I just have to point out, Pixie Stix would be ten times less effort.

  5. I live in Rhode Island, and am a foster parent, and have to do 15 hours of "enrichment" every year to keep my specialized foster care and adoption license. Last year I chose to listen to a talk given by a drug counselor from family court on "drug trends with teens in Rhode Island."
    I seriously could have debunked about 99% of what she said on snopes if I had pulled out my smart phone. I have never used drugs in my life (ever) and even I knew that it ridiculous.
    Here is some of what I "learned":
    1. The vodka in the tampon thing. I raised my hand and said, "Um, I thought that was an urban legend debunked on the internet..." she shook her head at me disapprovingly and said, "Oh, I don't know...." so
    2. Apparently they do vodka in the eyes, too.
    3. There is no meth use in Rhode Island because the mob keeps meth out so they can make more money from cocaine. This is actually the one I think might be remotely true.
    4. Depending on where you live in Rhode Island depends on what kind of drugs you use. Apparently there are more hard drugs in the city, and more psychadellics near Connecticut.
    5. Marijuana is 100 thousand (that's the number she used) times stronger/more dangerous now than it was in the 1960's. And often leads to mental illness.

    TLDR: the drug hysteria is strong in RI

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