Viral videos posted on social media show teenagers snorting condoms as part of a so-called “condom snorting challenge.”
In the videos, teens put an unwrapped condom up one of their nostrils and inhale until the condom comes out of their mouth. Like other viral challenges, the condom snorting challenge has been around for years but recently reemerged on social media.
In San Antonio, Stephen Enriquez, who teaches drug and alcohol prevention to parents, has also started to teach parents about dangerous online trends like the condom snorting challenge, KABB-TV reported.
“Because these days our teens are doing everything for likes, views, and subscribers,” Enriquez told the station. “As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them.”
And this isn’t the first time that teens have done questionable things in the pursuit of Internet fame. In 2012, more than 50,000 YouTube video clips showed young people swallow a tablespoon of dry cinnamon with no water, gag and spew out a cloud of orange dust as part of the “cinnamon challenge.”
Likewise, just before the New Year, a spate of teenage poisonings were reported in the U.S. as a result of an Internet-based dare encouraging youths to post video of themselves biting or eating Tide Pods. The stunt, dubbed “The Tide Pod Challenge,” has resulted in poison centers reporting 142 incidents in January.
While teens may think the condom snorting challenge goes without consequences, it can be dangerous, Bruce Y. Lee, a Forbes contributor and associate professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a recent column.
Lee writes that with the exception of doctor-prescribed nasal sprays, “anything else that goes up your nose can damage the sensitive inner lining of your nose, cause an allergic reaction, or result in an infection.”
He notes that the condom could also get stuck in the nasal cavity or the throat and cause someone to choke.