Teens Overdosing on Incense

By Omar Villafranca
|  Thursday, May 6, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 AM CDT
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Teens Overdosing on Incense

NBCDFW.com

Some teenagers are smoking K2 as an alternative to marijuana, even though the incense is labeled as "not for human consumption."

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Teens Overdosing on Incense

Police say some North Texas teenagers are smoking incense as an alternative to marijuana.
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Denton police say some teenagers are smoking a substance that is marketed as incense as an alternative to marijuana.

K2, or Spice, smells fruity or clean. In smoking chat rooms and forums, the leafy substance is called "legal weed." The label on bags of the product say it is "not for human consumption."

"K2 Incense is just that: Incense, and is not sold or intended for human consumption," K2-Incense.com, a company that sells the product, said in an e-mail.

It's legal to buy the incense in Texas, but Kansas has banned the product, and other states are considering similar legislation.

"It's legal," Officer Ryan Grelle said. "It's incense. There is no narcotic in it."

But at least three teenagers have called 911 in the last 10 days seeking medical help after smoking the incense, Denton police said.

Kori Croft, 18, said she regrets not paying attention to the warning. She was taken to a hospital after smoking the incense with her boyfriend.

"I feel like it was the dumbest decision ever," she said. "It pretty much was life-changing."

Within minutes of her first few puffs, she was having chest pains before blacking out on the floor.

"I blacked out and was having seizures," Croft said. "My boyfriend was brave enough to take the step and call the cops. My boyfriend was doing CPR on me before they got there because I wasn't breathing, and then they had to do CPR once they got there. The last thing I remember was actually smoking. That was the last thing I remember until I got to the hospital."

Her boyfriend, who did not want to be identified, called 911. On a recording of the call, Croft can be heard coughing and wheezing in the background while her boyfriend pleads with the dispatcher to hurry up.

Croft said she never plans to smoke the incense again.

"It's just not worth it to be unconscious or not in control," she said.

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