Dangerous Trend-Teens Getting High from Tea Leaves

Dangerous Trend: Teens buzzing on Tea Leaves


by Christine Noel
by Tim Mullican, Photojournalist

CHARLOTTE, NC - Some teens seeking an easy high are turning to their parents' pantry. Smoking tea leaves, right out of the tea packet, is the latest trend for experimental teens.

It's happening across the country, including here in Charlotte.

Twelve-year-old Josiah recently tried smoking tea for the first time. He says he wasn't trying to get high, he was just curious after seeing it on a YouTube video. "It's pretty nasty and it smelled weird," he says.

Josiah's mom, Tia, tells WCCB that she was out of the house running errands when he tried it. When she got home, she smelled smoke and called the fire department. That is when Josiah got caught.

She says she had never heard of the trend until now. "They explained to the fire marshall that they were actually trying to smoke the tea.. the tea bags," says Tia.

Dr. Charles Bregier, Medical Director of Novant Urgent Care says the long-term side effects of smoking tea are similar to that of cigarettes; lung cancer, stroke, and cardiac disease.

Some experts warn that carbon monoxide poisioning is a side-effect of smoking tea leaves. Like cigarettes, they let off small amounts of carbon monoxide, but in most cases, not enough to cause harm.



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