Teens are snorting condoms for the latest viral social media challenge, health officials warn.
The ‘Condom Challenge’ involves inhaling an unwrapped condom through one’s nostril and pulling it out of the throat through the mouth.
The challenge has been around for several years but is reportedly making a comeback on the heels of the Tide Pod Challenge that made headlines earlier this year.
Experts warn that snorting condoms not only poses a serious choking risk but could also lead to infection.
In a three-minute video from 2015 a teen unwraps a condom and unrolls it before sticking it in his nostril.
He then winces as he closes the other nostril with his finger and inhales the white rubber sheath up into his nose.
Seconds later he gags as he pulls the condom out of his mouth.
Dozens of other videos on YouTube show the same disturbing process.
Bruce Lee, an associated professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, addressed the trend in an opinion piece for Forbes posted Saturday.
‘When is using a condom a bad idea? When you are trying to snort it up your nose and pull it out through your mouth,’ he wrote.
‘Even if you manage to successfully pull the condom out through your mouth, inhaling a condom up your nose would be very uncomfortable and potentially quite painful.
‘Would it really be worth all that just to get more likes and views?’
Health experts have urged people to stop participating in the potentially dangerous trend.
Snorting condoms is a choking hazard because the rubber could potentially get caught in a person’s airway and block their ability to breathe.
The spermicidal lubricant found on most condoms can also irritate the inner lining of the nose and cause allergic reaction or infection.
Accidentally swallowing the condom could also lead to serious complications.
In 2016 a woman from Cameroon accidentally swallowed a condom and had to have it surgically removed from her appendix after it caused appendicitis.
Another woman developed pneumonia after accidentally swallowing a condom according to a report in an Indian medical journal from 2004.
The challenge has been around for more than a decade with YouTube videos dating back to 2007.
One channel devoted to the challenge created in 2013 has more than 100 videos of people participating.
Earlier this year another dangerous viral video trend the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ made headlines as dozens of teens posted videos of themselves chewing and swallowing the laundry detergent pods.
Health officials reported more than 40 cases of teens getting sick from the highly concentrated detergent that can cause chemical burns when ingested.