There are thousands of videos on YouTube showing teens trying what appears to be a harmless trick. However, cinnamon is caustic and can pose severe threats to those who eat it by the spoonful.
Those health threats include choking, throat irritation and trouble breathing. Sometimes it can cause lungs to collapse. Cinnamon is made from tree bark and it doesn't break down easily. In some cases, the cinnamon can get into the lungs and cause scarring.
The number of people taking the cinnamon challenge has increased greatly. In 2011, 51 calls were reported by poison control centers. Last year, in 2012, the number of calls was 222. At least 30 teens across the country needed medical attention due to taking the cinnamon challenge. Because of those increased numbers, doctors have issued a cinnamon warning.