Some parents in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, got a disturbing letter from their kids' school this week warning them that their children might be snorting Smarties.
According to Boing Boing, Portsmouth Middle School sent home a panicked letter warning parents that middle school kids might be crushing Smarties candy into powder and either snorting it through the nose or "smoking" it by taking a mouthful and exhaling it through the nose. The letter warned of many potential health dangers from snorting powdered candy, including a risk of nasal cuts from sharp candy pieces, a risk of allergic reaction if the student was allergic to sugar, and nasal 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," the letter warned. Local blogger John McDaid contacted Friedman, who clarified that nose maggots were a possibility when a person puts food in his or her nose, but he had never actually seen them as a result of Smartie snorting.
Stories about kids snorting Smarties and Pixie Sticks have been around the Internet since at least 2007, pointed out Mommyish, a parenting blog, which was not excessively worried about the new drug threat.
"I think we can all agree that nothing gets the Internet in a tizzy like the idea of kids shoving various substances up their noses, but the newest 'drug panic' is the most ridiculous yet," wrote Mommyish's Frances Locke, who pointed out that previous incarnations of the candy-snorting panic have involved stories of children supposedly snorting Crystal Light and aspartame.