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#1031100 - Wed Jan 22 2014 10:35 AM snorting Smarties
tjoebigham Offline
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Registered: Sat Dec 25 1999
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There's been a dangerous new trend among students that's first been noticed among those in a Portsmouth, RI middle school. They've been grinding up Smarties (the little fruit-flavored candy disks) into powder and snorting them up their noses like cocaine. Trouble is, it produces scarring of the nasal passages where flies can lay eggs that becaome nasal maggots. (GROOOOOOOSS!) That and a lot of other respiratory problems can occur. These brainless kids think that just because they're not snorting cocaine, they won't get in trouble! SHEESH!

mad Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not so handicapped. Elbert Hubbard

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#1031110 - Wed Jan 22 2014 11:11 AM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
jabb5076 Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
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Loc: Georgia USA
I just heard about this yesterday on the radio. Apparently, some of these same kids try smoking the crushed up smarties, too. Since the candy doesn't actually burn easily, they are trying to simulate the smoke from a cigarette by somehow blowing on the candy powder. Pure craziness!

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#1031126 - Wed Jan 22 2014 12:10 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
agony Offline

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Canadians and Brits are probably reading this with amazement, as for us Smarties are candy-covered chocolate, something like M&Ms. I really don't think that they could be snorted. American Smarties are close to what we here in western Canada call "rockets".

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#1031127 - Wed Jan 22 2014 12:12 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
dippo Offline
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How do the flies get up these people's noses to find out whether or not there are scars there where they can lay their eggs?

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#1031170 - Wed Jan 22 2014 02:36 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
jabb5076 Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
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Loc: Georgia USA
My understanding is that powder residue remaining in the nostrils can attract small flies (fruit flies, maybe) that can then lay their eggs, probably while the person is asleep. The report I heard didn't say if this has actually ever happened or if it's simply a possibility. Gross just to even think about!

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#1031181 - Wed Jan 22 2014 04:42 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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This is better than mainlining sugar via Pixy Stix injections! Now those things leave a scar. My Dermatological Plastic Surgeon says my scars will be virtually invisible after a good unicorn tattoo is applied.


Edited by mehaul (Wed Jan 22 2014 04:43 PM)
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#1031214 - Wed Jan 22 2014 09:04 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
ren33 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
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I am sorry, Mehaul, but I completely fail to see how this topic could possibly be used as a reason for humour.
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#1031229 - Thu Jan 23 2014 01:59 AM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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Sorry Ren, I read the initial post as a total urban legend. It has not happened. It is worthy of being tweaked. No one I know in New England has heard that this has occurred, several of those people being grade school teachers and administrators. But thanks for recognizing my post as a jest and not my real situation.
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"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
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#1031233 - Thu Jan 23 2014 03:28 AM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
ren33 Offline
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Point taken but I still don't see why someone would make up such a pointless 'legend'.
I do not see anything remotely entertaining or amusing about a story like that.Does anyone?
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#1031261 - Thu Jan 23 2014 07:29 AM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
flopsymopsy Offline
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The Washington Post had an article about this earlier in the week, which contained a link to an interview with the doctor who raised the maggots issue. It transpires that while the doctor has seen nasal maggots in relation to other foodstuffs in the nose, he has never actually encountered a case of this with Smarties but replied it was "just a possibility. I have seen maggots in the nose from other food products in general."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2014/01/20/everybody-panic/
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#1031308 - Thu Jan 23 2014 12:49 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: flopsymopsy]
lesley153 Offline
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The most daring thing I did with a Smartie was lick a red one and paint my lips with it. (Long time ago.)

I hope this never gets beyond a very remote possibility.
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#1031353 - Thu Jan 23 2014 02:40 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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I grew up in New England and in our day the exact same legend ran its course only it entailed the use of the sweet candy of the moment. Giving away that I spanned two generations of this rumoring: I've heard the tale told using Canada Mints (pink ones) and the white flavor of the multicolored NECCO Wafers.

Bugs can fly (or crawl) into our mouths as we sleep and there is no reports of mouth maggots. The moisture of our respiration would melt the crystal sugar (the agent which could cause scraping but not scarring) making exposure of meat in the nasal airways highly unlikely. If the event of egg laying in the nose's mucus membrane were even possible (the ph is wrong for egg growth) bloody noses which happen quite often to youngsters, would most likely be requiring some sort of antiseptic applications and infiltration prevention steps rather than being allowed to just dry up.


Edited by mehaul (Thu Jan 23 2014 03:01 PM)
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Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
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#1031373 - Thu Jan 23 2014 03:57 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: mehaul]
DivineMsDRL Offline
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I certainly don't, Ren. I am in your court.
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#1031382 - Thu Jan 23 2014 05:11 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
Jakeroo Offline
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Registered: Sat Aug 30 2008
Posts: 1776
Loc: Alberta Canada
(uh-oh, epistle alert, everyone hide their eyes lol)....

Parasites, bacteria and viruses will find their way to harm other living forms in SOME manner, as 1) that's their purpose/method of survival/species perpetuation and 2) they are probably the most viable (and changeable/evolving) organisms due to their very short (comparatively) lifespan.

But I have to agree with mehaul in that this occurrence is HIGHLY unlikely at best (even the doctor said it wasn't probable, merely "possible" - big difference) and an urban legend at worst.

Folks make up "pointless" urban legends all the time and go to conSIDerable effort to do so, whether the rest of us think that's a waste of time or not lol. And when they can't think of something new, they just recycle the old crap that's been circulating newspapers and especially emails since their inception. This sort of thing is not restricted to the last couple of decades; charlatans have existed for centuries. Is this annoying? Absolutely. Are things like this factual/provable? Rarely. Is it amusing to some degree? Quite often, in my opinion, yes (wryly, with respect to human nature in general).

It is doubtful that insects would be attracted to DRIED fake chems simulating supposed fruit flavor/smell. Now, if they had said, "don't stuff a slice of fresh juicy orange up your nose and allow it to rot there, thereby attracting maggot-laying fruit flies", that might have been more useful (and like the other idea, shouldn't really be necessary to put in writing) advice ~~~

I suspect that someone thought they were being "incredibly" funny (rolls eyes) by deliberately choosing "smarties" to offset their "dummies" allusion.

Doesn't anyone my age remember the "rumour" going around that smoking dried banana skins gave you the same rush as marijuana? Does anyone actually KNOW anyone who really tried this? I don't (even though I knew people who enjoyed the real thing), but you'd have believed the "epidemic" if all you knew about it was gleaned from the folklore/gossip/media that went around. If the person who started THAT one is still alive, I'm sure they are still giggling to themselves, with or without pharmaceutical enhancement ~

I think the real danger here is not this particular "smarties issue", but the fact that young children generally are more naÔve and trusting of purported "fads" and might actually TRY anything put on the internet as "the thing to do if you're gonna be cool". Quite frankly, there are also plenty of adults who should stop believing everything they read on the internet is real as well!

Simple fact? No, we shouldn't be snorting ANYthing up our noses except air (if necessary, accompanied by a mask of some sort). That's not funny, it's a fact. But the fact that people do such things anyway doesn't mean we have to get all serious, or unnecessarily fearful, or pass a law or something. In red-neck humour, falling for this sort of thing would result in a "here's your sign" moment ~~~

There are a zillion ways to die. The Darwin Awards prove that (and they are a "light-hearted" if not amusing comment on the really really stupid things people do).

Your mileage may vary : ) Personally, I don't find anything funny about the antics of Toronto's mayor, but Americans apparently find it hilarious. Haven't heard so many mentions of Canada on US networks in 20 years lol. Which is funny in itself.

p.s. Along with other Canadians, my "Smarties" are like M/M's (but better). No, you should not snort them (DUH). Ground up or otherwise - you WILL asphyxiate. Death by chocolate I guess. Apologies for the pun.

p.s.s. Lesley. I always hated the red covered ones (they tasted funny to me then, but I'm sure they removed that red dye #whatever long after I stopped eating them and they're much "safer" now lol)) so I gave them all to my much younger sister who thought it was cool because she always got to "eat the red ones last", as per the silly commercial ad.
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#1031383 - Thu Jan 23 2014 05:38 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
flopsymopsy Offline
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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 2417
Loc: Northampton England†UK††††††
I think one key point here is that the original warning was actually circulated by the relevant civic authority who either didn't check the facts or didn't understand them. The warning was easily and quickly refuted but by that time other people had published the warning and like all urban legends it took on a life of its own. These things are like fake anti-virus warnings - they may be fake but they can do a great deal of harm because people begin to assume everything is fake and then they ignore the real thing. Like small boys yelling 'wolf' in the face of every chihuahua then meeting a polar bear.

We can all do something to prevent these scare stories. We can check them, or at least try. It took me about five seconds to google this story and twenty seconds more to find the refutation and original. If someone had done that in the first place the story would not have been given any exposure here nor would it have got on to google with yet another source for other people to check, i.e. Funtrivia.

To quote from the original poster's tagline: "Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not so handicapped" ... however, a bit of research can show which is which.
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#1031387 - Thu Jan 23 2014 05:50 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: Jakeroo]
lesley153 Offline
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Registered: Fri Sep 07 2007
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Originally Posted By: Jakeroo
Lesley. I always hated the red covered ones

I can't remember what they tasted like, or even if different colours had different flavours. Just chocolate, and sweet.

But I bet the red was cochineal

Delicious! And irrelevant - sorry. smile


Edited by lesley153 (Thu Jan 23 2014 05:51 PM)
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#1031404 - Thu Jan 23 2014 06:50 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 4843
Loc: Florida USA
Trivia poser: Isn't there an automatic convulsive exhale reflex that occurs when a crawly or buzzy thing goes into your nostril?
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"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
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#1031415 - Thu Jan 23 2014 08:32 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
MiraJane Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 343
Loc: New York USA
And for the true expert on this topic - http://www.snopes.com/horrors/parental/smarties.asp


Apparently, kids have been crushing up candies and snorting them for decades. Many things seem reasonable to try when one is six years old. And then there is the "smoking Smarties" issue. That is really crushing up the candies while still in the wrapper and blowing the dust out one end.

Nasal passages can be damaged if the candy isn't crushed into a fine dust and the sharp pieces are inhaled, causing small cuts. Scarring can happen if it is done regularly, or more than once on a dare.
The scarring and cuts can introduce bacteria etc. into the respiratory system. It is also this possible rotting bacteria in the nice, warm, moist nose that *might* attract a real life bug.

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#1031423 - Thu Jan 23 2014 10:35 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
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Loc: Florida USA
I read it to say that kids crush the stuff to powder, put that powder in their mouth and then exhale through their nose - an action that siphons some of the mouth held dust into the nasal stream and it looks like smoke comes out their nose. They are smoking not snorting, and quite infrequently from reliable sources. That is not snorting. Nowhere did it say kids were doing lines. Big uncrushed particles in the mouth would be too heavy to get siphoned into the exhalation stream through the nose. Only the dust would be light enough to do that. And, that Dr Orel guy even hinted why they include the maggot idea was to dissuade kids from doing the "smoking" in the first place. Not a documented fact but a made up statement to scare the uneducated mind. And they do use Pixy Stix for the same effect: crush - mouth - exhale out nose - cloud of smoke. Kids having fun, who'd a thunk?
Why don't they just use powdered Confectioner's sugar? Because they aren't doing it at all.

Edit By The Way: A far better dissuader to kids is to tell them no one else is doing it.


Edited by mehaul (Thu Jan 23 2014 10:38 PM)
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"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
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#1031436 - Fri Jan 24 2014 01:44 AM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
MiraJane Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
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Loc: New York USA
They don't use powdered confectioner's sugar because that isn't available usually on playgrounds or given out as Halloween treats.

I remember candy being crushed and "snorted" on the playground. It wasn't being done because we were imitating cocaine users but simply because small kids do dumb things. The way to ensure kids will continue to do stupid things is to make a big fuss over it. Beans, tiny toy pieces, pebbles, sticks, etc. are commonly pulled out of kids noses by emergency room doctors.

My little brother, about four at the time, loved worms. He was continuously told not to bring his "pets" into the house. But he kept doing it so he could play with them at night after being sent to bed. Well, one night, he heard one of my parents walking down the hall & opening the door. He didn't want to swallow the worm, who would do that to their pet? Guess where he shoved it for safe keeping until mom or dad left?


They noticed the dangly thing and tried to pull it out. But it had broken somehow during the shove in to hide process. And off to the ER they went.

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#1037744 - Thu Mar 13 2014 01:36 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
satguru Offline
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Our British Smarties were orange/flavour, brown-coffee, one more was plain and the rest were milk. These were abandoned around the 80s only leaving the orange one different. I've no idea what an American one is like but whoever would think of grinding up what is nearly all pure sugar and snorting it does sound a bit far fetched, more so anyone following them. They could just buy icing sugar if they really thought it was so exciting to do so.
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#1037745 - Thu Mar 13 2014 02:24 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
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They didn't snort it by all accounts. They put atomized dust in their mouths, closed said mouths and exhaled through the nose. The result being they looked like they were exhaling smoke. Icing sugar is also called confectioner's sugar.

Edit: And it seems the accounts come from the 'doctor' who made up the maggots in noses story to scare kids. I think he made the whole thing up based on urban legend and used his degree, authoritarian position and access to credible publications to spread the fabrication, showing peer review doesn't always work. At times it takes a searching public to unveil the truth.


Edited by mehaul (Thu Mar 13 2014 03:07 PM)
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"...Tomorrow's come a long way to help you."
Tim Davis 'Your Saving Grace' Steve Miller Band (1969)
"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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#1038568 - Thu Mar 20 2014 02:47 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
Jakeroo Offline
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Posts: 1776
Loc: Alberta Canada
I don't believe the treats UK and Canadian folks know as Smarties are the same in the US. There, I think the product named Smarties is more like a cross between Pez and Sweet Tarts (if that makes any sense to anyone lol). Anyway they don't have chocolate. And yes I do remember that different colours had different flavours and always saved the coffee ones for last : ) They all taste the same now and they're boring (sadly).
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#1038575 - Thu Mar 20 2014 03:37 PM Re: snorting Smarties [Re: tjoebigham]
mehaul Online   content
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Why did Canada stop exporting Canada Mints to the US? Sorry that's a tad off topic to this thread. I just wondered what we did wrong that you stopped rolling those huge mints our way and is there anything we can do down here to get them rolling again?
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"...Yesterday's at least a mile back."
Dale Peters 'Dreaming in the Country' James Gang (1971)

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