‘Snorting Smarties’ Is Not A Real Trend, So Let’s Calm Down

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. According to various questionable “sources,” kids are just wild for snorting Smarties. Yes, Smarties, the candy.

According to the Daily Mail, which is a bastion of journalistic integrity, this issue is a “widespread phenomenon,” by which they mean 15 kids allegedly took part…in one school…in Rhode Island (aka America’s studio apartment). They also mention “hundreds” of clips on YouTube, of course leaving out the part where the “hundreds” of clips aren’t hundreds at all and are spread out over numerous years.

The Daily Mail can’t even find one recent video, instead mentioning ones from 2007 and 2010 in the very next paragraph. But who cares about “accuracy” or “facts” when there is a story to sell! According to the Mail:

“The Smarties snorting trend is by no means a new phenomenon; some of the YouTube videos date back to at least 2007.
In one video posted in 2010, young boys are seen making lines of Smarties dust similar to cocaine and snorting the sugary powder through a rolled up dollar bill. ”

The clip, which has drawn more than 12,000 views, shows the kids coughing and gasping for air as the residue fills their nasal passages and lungs.

What baffles me the most about this supposed “phenomenon” is that every couple of years it comes around in a new form. At one point it was Crystal Light, then aspartame. Occasionally there are a few legit cases, but never is there a serious trend. It’s click bait and sensationalist BS. Meanwhile teens have been huffing Dust-Off for ages along with other various inhalants. I guess headlines about Dust-Off just aren’t as punchy anymore.

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  • JudasSong

    More than once as stupid kids, my friends and I snorted Rockets (which are what Americans calls Smarties) and Pixie Stix. It was a terrible idea, but not because it did any real physical or long lasting damage (that we know of), but because it burns the nose and the back of the throat something fierce. Kids are stupid sometimes; that’s why we didn’t learn the lesson after the first time it hurt like hell.

    • Megan Zander

      We did this too! My 8th grade class of catholic school kids decide to be badasses and we all snorted pixie sticks together and it HURT LIKE A MOTHER. And that my friends, is why I’ve never done coke.

    • kay

      My husband snorted pixi stix as a kid too! He tried to tell me every kid does it, but I assumed it was a weird Kansas thing. Mostly because I blame anything weird from his childhood on the fact that it took place in Kansas.

  • EmmaFromÉire

    I got super confused by the headline, because in Ireland smarties are little chocolates covered n sugar. They’re my crack.

    • Véronique Houde

      Yeah, that’s what they are here too :)

    • Lindsay

      As long as they’re not your cocaine.

    • thisshortenough

      I was so confused by this when I saw it. I was like “there’s rumours kids are snorting smarted? But those aren’t smarties. They look like love hearts”

    • Alfreda Wells Morrissey

      Here in Canada Smarties are candy coated chocolates too. They compete with the M&M’s. Those look like rockets. Usually they are a Halloween thing.

  • pixie

    At first I was confused at the snorting Smarties bit, because up here, Smarties are basically larger M&Ms, but then I remembered that’s what Rockets are called in the US.
    Kids snorting sugary, powder-like candy up their noses (Rockets and Pixie Stix, as JudasSong points out) for a very long time just for fun. I knew tons of kids who would do it in class just to get a reaction from the teachers in the early 2000s before YouTube was even created. No it’s not a trend, and most kids are smart enough to realize that they won’t get any sort of high from it, they just do it for something to do. Dares are one common reason, as is getting a reaction from the teachers, or showing their friends how “badass” they are.

    • Véronique Houde

      HAHAHA I was totally going to write the same thing… I was like… Why would kids want to sniff chocolate??

    • pixie

      Because sniffing chocolate is hardcore, obviously. lol
      Yes, products having different names in different countries on the same continent that speak the same language (mostly, and I’m pretty sure product names don’t change much in French, though I could be wrong) gets very confusing!!

    • Véronique Houde

      No, we’re part of Canada, so we have Canadian products. They don’t change between here and Ontario. Well, unless the Office de la Langue Française decides that something is too “english” – but so far the only issues that have been coming up were with the words Pasta on an italian restaurant menu and the initials WC (stands for Water Closet) in a french restaurant (because in Paris that’s the way they call bathrooms) ;)

    • pixie

      I knew the thing about the Office de la Langue Française deciding things were too “english”. I’m attempting to (re)learn French (it’s actually part of my program requirements because UofOttawa is a bilingual university so I’ll have to take a French proficiency test), but I haven’t yet been able to get over to Gatineau and go into shops there.

  • Cee

    Kids snort weird shit. I remember kids snorting Pixie Stix “back in my day” *sigh* Though, being of Mexican descent, and growing up in a Hispanic neighborhood, those kids took it up a notch and snorted spicy powder, think Tajin or chili powder with a hint of lime. Then came the urban legends of kids that snorted the x-treme chili powder. Ah, good times!

  • Tea

    I did this once as a kid (and pixie sticks too), and helped perpetuate doing it in grade school. It was one of those things where someone tells you to try it for X reason, when it actually just burns like hell, and then you perpetuate the myth so you can watch your friends dance around in pain too, and then they usually pass it on.

    • Tilla

      We did the same thing at my school. It was the dumbest of the dumb dares.

  • AP

    My sixth-grade teacher gave out Pixie Stix once and it resulted in half the class snorting them “because it gives you a sugar high!” In reality, the kids who did it ended up burning their noses and sneezing out rainbows.

    My sister was at a bar mitzvah where the bar mitzvah boy’s friends of the young female persuasion were snorting sugar packets and doing “shots” of water out of the candle votives because they wanted to party. Honestly, I think that’s a bigger problem than snorting candy, because clearly someone had taught these girls an inappropriate definition of party.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      Oh my god, “sneezing out rainbows.” The image is hysterical!

  • Andrea

    I’m telling you, Smarties is the new “gateway” drug!!! *snort*

  • Jallun-Keatres

    When I was in 10th grade some boys behind me snorted the sour dust from a bag of sour patch kids.

    • meteor_echo

      Dat citric acid burn. It must’ve hurt like crazy.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      Yeah there were tears, red faces, and sneezing XD

  • Lindsay

    I hope no one does that, if just because it would be a waste of Smarties I could be eating.

    • Kay_Sue

      You and me both. My first thought was “effin’ wasteful kids”.

    • Fondue


  • Elly

    Definitely not new. Back in 94 when I was in HS, my friends and I had some halloween candy and I dared a friend to smash up the white smarties and snort them. Which he did. Yes we were all stupid, but hey, I was 16 at the time and dumb. XD

  • Bonpolar

    I once snorted pixie sticks back in sixth grade as a joke. It burns like a motherfucker.

  • Kay_Sue

    If these folks are really concerned about things going up kids noses, they should honestly see what my 3 year old could fit up there. It’s like Mary Poppins’ bag.

  • CrazyLogic

    One of my brother’s childhood friends decided to try snorting salt when he was twelve. Apparently it stings and it was funny to see him realize this when it should have been common sense.

    He’s a teetotaler now.

  • Oh for the love of…. Candy

    I teach high school and I can confirm that students snort this stuff. We call the rockets in Canada though. Sigh.

  • Alicia Kiner

    I don’t know about this not really happening. I saw kids snorting pixie stir and crushed Smarties when I was in high school. I never understood it, but they did it on the bus all the time.

  • NovellaParras

    I Have a problem for the Snorting smarties.

  • Toastlette

    Silly news people. New? Some of my less wise classmates did that kind of crap when I was in elementary school- in the 80s. I’m sure it has been a thing longer than that, though.

  • Mom of Middle Schoolers in MI

    The problem here is that the candy powder lodged in a child’s nose can attract flies, who they lay eggs in the nasal passage and maggots develop in the child’s nasal passage. Kinda gross, but I’d like to be made aware just to know what to look for if my middle schoolers were that gullible (which they’re not…they gave me the evil eye when I asked about snorting Smarties, lol).

  • Kelly

    Snorting smarties and pixie sticks has been a real thing since at least the 1980s when kids in my school would do it.

    Who cares though? It’s not like you get high from it and it isn’t fatal, just stupid.

  • Eric

    I’m glad to have this pointed out to me–click bait is dead on. I see “news reports” (usually on shows like Inside Edition or some other such program) about kids doing dumb things, and it triggers an unfortunate reaction to me that brings to mind other kids doing similar things, and the truth is that it really is just a way they keep the fear machine going.

    That said, surely it has happened, and to any kid out there who’s reading this and who has tried it–what on Earth do you think would the be high from doing that? Because at least when people snort cocaine (I’M NOT ENDORSING THIS), they’re at least doing it for the way it will make them feel. If you’re doing it just to do it or because you’re bored, read a book or go for a walk, or better yet go talk to a guidance counselor, because we want you to be the next person to make a difference in the world, not spend your time like this.

  • Lo

    We didn’t snort them, but at my high school there was a trend of “smoking” Smarties. You take one or two out of one end so there’s loose room, rub them together until it makes dust. Then suck it into your mouth (don’t inhale) and blow out and it looks like you’re smoking. It was stupid and not nearly as cool as we thought it was, but it wasn’t harmful. This lasted about two weeks until the school banned it. Mostly because we all looked dumb.

  • Moni

    Sorry to say but it’s real.
    I’m 16 and by middle school I knew kids who were doing it faithfully.
    I live in Indana, if the trend is already in Indiana then it has to be everywhere else!

  • Anna

    um…yeah tons of people did this at my school. I don’t even know if there’s an actual high associated with it, just a headache. Another favorite was pixie stix.

  • Sarah

    Back in my high school hey-day (the late 2000s), all the cool kids snorted Pixie Sticks. So I believe this is probably happening as well. On a massive scale? Maybe not. In the back of the school bus in some redneck town in the mountains? Absolutely.

  • Ohio Mom

    It is real, my sister mentioned that my nephew was doing it and they live near Toledo oh…..http://www.ehow.com/info_8453867_smarties-snorting-dangers.html

  • Dean

    I’m a dean of students and friend, you are wrong. Smarties are the bane of my existence.