Condom snorting, apparently, is the latest fad making its rounds on social media in the United States. A small group of San Antonio-area parents and teachers were alarmed by what they saw during a presentation at a local school in late March. It was the “condom challenge,” a dangerous YouTube trend where teens snorted condoms up their nose — and pulled them out of their mouths.
Newsweek on Saturday quoted a report last week by San Antonio-based TV station KABB, which said a state education specialist visited schools in the area to brief parents on “dangerous trends” such as the condom-snorting challenge.
San Antonio drugs and alcohol prevention teacher Stephen Enriquez told KABB-TV that “these days our teens are doing everything for likes, views, and subscribers.” He cautioned: “As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them.” Because of this, Enriquez has also begun including such trends in his parental guidance.
The “condom challenge” was briefly popular around 2013, when a teen snorting a condom up her nose as a Taylor Swift song played went viral. But as some news reports noted at the time, the challenge itself dates back to at least 2007.
What is the condom snorting challenge?
The bizarre craze involves youngster snorting an unwrapped condom up one nostril, before pulling it from their throats and out of the mouth.Thousands of teens and young adults then post the videos online after the painful experience.
Viral videos posted on social media show teenagers snorting condoms as part of a so-called “condom snorting challenge.” One video – entitled “Do NOT try the condom-snorting challenge” – has 66,000 views in just eight hours.
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.
Parents are being warned to keep an eye on their children as the trend could become a choking hazard for those taking part.
While teens may think the condom snorting challenge goes without consequences, it can be dangerous, Health experts have urged teens not to take part because the rubber could potentially get caught in a person’s airway and block their ability to breathe.Bruce Y. Lee, a Forbes contributor and associate professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, writes in a recent column 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.
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.”