Why Are People Finding DayQuil Inside Smarties Candy?

Well, this is a weird one. People in Canada are finding DayQuil capsules inside sealed boxes of Smarties candy. So far, seven small “Halloween sized” boxes of the candy have been found to contain the cold medicine.

Sgt. Paul McCurbin of Durham Region police said the cases all involve small boxes given out on Halloween. He said there was no evidence of tampering, “except that cold medication was found inside.”

In further weirdness, it seems that in Canada Smarties are made of chocolate and have nothing to do with the Smarties we’re used to — which, of course, look exactly like drugs. For example:

Durham Regional police launched their investigation upon reports from a young girl who found a tablet of medicine among her treats, according to a news release issued Friday.

The girl, Dhymone Williams, told CBC News she discovered the orange pill inside a small, sealed box of Smarties she received on Halloween night.

“I knew it wasn’t a Smartie because I know that Smarties are round and they have chocolate in it, and that one I could see right through it,” she said.

You do learn something every day, don’t you?

Cold medication discovered in Halloween candy [CBC]
More cold medication found in Smarties [Star]


Edit Your Comment

  1. LiquidGravity says:

    Whats wrong with that? Its not like it NyQuil. Your not going to get drowsy.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      @LiquidGravity: I get drowsy from DayQuil. :(

    • ribex says:

      @LiquidGravity: The DayQuil is a lie.

      I bought (and took) DayQuil a while ago and it made me drowsy as heck.

      They may have changed the formulation since then, because when I look at their website I don’t see any active ingredients which would normally cause drowsiness.

      On the other hand, your comment “Whats (sic) wrong with that?” is kind of disturbing to me.

    • wezelboy says:

      @LiquidGravity: Actually, it’s really bad. Dextromethorpan is the main ingredient in both Dayquil and Nyquil. Death from overdose from DXM is a distinct possibility for a small child.

      • TheStonepedo says:

        I have to call bull on this one. The kid would suffer multiple organ failure from acetaminophen (325mg/pill) long before the DXM (10mg/pill, 10-30 doses are not uncommon in recreational “robo tripping”) would cause its breathing to slow. But really, what good would a box of just pills be? The taste of the medicines would make most kids spit the stuff out unless a proper ratio of pills to chocolates was used.

        • trujunglist says:


          Your attention to these details was far more disturbing than anything else that has been said thus far.

          • redkamel says:

            @trujunglist: really? maybe he/she is a nurse/doctor/PA etc. Thats what I thought.

            I find it most disturbing that someone at the factory possibly poured meds into the smarty machine. What if they hadnt used the large, clear, dayquil and had used something a lot smaller and easily eaten? like viagra. or E.

            Now THAT would be disturbing.

  2. nagumi says:

    There’s a non-chocolate smartie?

    • CupcakeKarate says:

      @nagumi: yeah- they are a hard candy here. little sugary discs wrapped in cellophane. Absolutely unrelated to the chocolatey goodness of Canadian smarties

    • tande04 says:

      @nagumi: There is a chocolate smarite?

    • Preyfar says:

      @nagumi: American “Smarties” are similar to the Canadian candy “Rockets”.

    • Triborough says:

      @nagumi: This should help

      Top: American “Smarties” – these are absolute rubbish since they are just basically sugar pills with food colouring. Ironically, they are made in Canada.

      Middle: Canadian Smarties Рthese are properly made by Nestl̩ and are the proper candy coated milk chocolate. Sadly they are not in a proper tube.

      Bottom: British Smarties – these are properly made by Nestlé and are the proper candy coated milk chocolate. They are in a hex tube which is a bit more environmentally responsible than the old tubes with the plastic tops, but they aren’t as good for reclosing.

      • trujunglist says:


        American smarties are not rubbish and they are not just sugar pills. They have flavoring, although it is probably not that noticeable when you stick all of them in your mouth at once after eating a ton of other sugary candies. I find them to be quite tasty when I steal them from kids on Halloween.

      • karmaghost says:

        @Triborough: What? They got rid of the circular tube with the plastic top? NOOOOOOOO!!

  3. Eldritch says:

    Oh god, not the Smarties! I get those in care packages from relatives in Ireland! Next it will be the Mars bars! WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD?!

    • kbrook says:

      @Eldritch: Our local Meijer stores just started carrying little teeny tubes of Smarties. They also have Fruit Pastilles. All they need to carry are Roses and Cadbury Milk Trays, and I’d be a happy camper!

    • guspaz says:

      @Eldritch: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just have them sent from Canada? They’re the same.

      I haven’t had Smarties in a very long time (I’m allergic to chocolate), but last time I had them they were in rectangular cardboard boxes, only the minis were in tubes. Has this changed?

  4. summerbee says:

    See, I was thinking the Day Quil pills were actually coated in chocolate. Now THAT would be…weird.

  5. AbeniBabalastic says:

    Smarties in the US are a small sugary candy that comes in various colors, think of them as smaller, non-tangy SweetTarts. They come wrapped in a clear wrapper that is twist-wrapped at each end, but each individual candy is similar in size and shape to tablet drugs.

  6. cjones27 says:

    Aren’t smarties the little chalky circular candies that come in a long clear plastic wrap?


    • dorianh49 says:

      @cjones27: Only here in the US, I guess. I never knew there was another type. It’s probably a completely different candy by a completely different manufacturer than the one we’re used to.

    • zigziggityzoo says:

      @cjones27: Canadian Smarties are much, muuuch better. And made by Nestle, I believe.

      Every time I go to Canada I bring some back. Tasty.

      • thatsnotfab says:

        @zigziggityzoo: Me too! I first came across them at a duty-free shop in Canada over 10 years ago.

        They beat the pants off of American Smarties.

        • Betsumei says:

          @cjones27: Around here, those chalky abominations are called “rockets” or something similar. Quite frankly, I’d rather have my Nestle Smarties. :P

          Also, where can I get some of these? I’ve got both a chocolate craving and a nasty cold.

      • nobodyman says:

        @zigziggityzoo: Too right, brother. My best friend visits Canada often and occasionally brings these back. I love ’em.

        They are kinda like oversized M&Ms, but have (in my opinion) a creamier tastes. I know that Mars made “Mega M&M’s” in the USA back in 2005, but I don’t think that they caught on. Not sure if they tasted the same as Canadian Smarties.

  7. NYYSI says:

    I can’t believe there are two COMPLETELY different candies called “Smarties”. How has there NOT been a lawsuit over this?

    • sockrockinbeats says:

      @NYYSI: There are two Hershey’s companies, too–one makes ice cream, one makes chocolate and candy. I always laugh when I see Hershey’s ice cream, they are apparently required to put a little tagline saying “not affiliated with Milton Hershey” (or something similar) on their products.

    • Benny Gesserit says:

      @NYYSI: Because your “Smarties” are called “Rockets” up here.

      • synergy says:

        @Jim (The Canuck One): That usually doesn’t make a difference. Use of a name, for whatever the reason, is usually enough.

        I think there was a lawsuit. My husband, who is Canadian, may have mentioned this, but I tuned out when he started saying they were better. Comparing apples and oranges…

  8. jaydez says:

    Thats weird… out US Smarties are made in Canada! How come our neighbors to the north done get to enjoy them?

  9. shepd says:

    Just FYI, for those wondering, Canadians *do* get your American “Smarties”, although here they are called “Rockets” (a better name for them, IMHO!). I believe both the American and Canadian Rockets are manufactured in Ontario, CA (You guess which one! HA!).

  10. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Any body else remember the big Diet Pepsi Syringe hoax in the US. that I think happend in the early 90’s or very late 80’s?

    I remember that was such a huge scare and everyone blamed pepsi as there were literally hundreds of reported cases, then the first guy came forward and admitted it was a hoax and low and behold, it turned out everyone else was a copy cat.

    Anyways these stories always remind me of that one.

    • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

      @Hooray4Zoidberg: It wasn’t a hoax. It turned out that a diabetic was putting his used syringes inside of opened & emptied pop cans & someone else picked up the can & saw the syringe & freaked out.
      That started the entire flap. which ended when Pepsi showed a video of how the cans were washed & filled. The cans were hit with a high pressure stream of water while upside down & then flipped over instantly & filled & sealed.
      No way for tampering in the plant.

  11. parad0x360 says:

    I hope we can a future update about this story. Its off and quite interesting.

  12. cmcd14 says:

    The drugging of Canada is beginning!! And people thought the US was going to be the country of ‘1984’.

  13. Murph1908 says:

    If the story is true, my guess is Disgruntled Employee.

    1. Shoplift several boxes (or get help from friend inside a drug store).

    2. Drop the pills into the stock heading to the packager.

    3. ????

    4. Profit.

    • kairi2 says:

      @Murph1908: I don’t think they are really profiting, unless it’s off vengeance.

    • pmathews says:


      I don’t see how underwear helps in this situation.

    • Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

      @Murph1908: It doesn’t have to be a disgruntled employee, just a sloppy one that accidentally dropped the drugs into the candy.

      Several years ago I received a recall letter from Costco. The letter stated that an employee at the plant where Steakhouse Chili was made lost a pocket calculator into the meat grinder & a batch was recalled.
      I never saw any pieces of the calculator as I had eaten five of the six cans already. Costco gave me a full refund for all six cans even though I only had the one to return.

      • rtipping says:

        @Greasy Thumb Guzik:
        Yes but did your math Improve

      • Murph1908 says:

        @Greasy Thumb Guzik:
        The number of cases made me lean towards deliberate contamination of the product line.

        Plus, they had to have been dropped in after any kind of processing. If they were dropped in before, they would have been melted, cooked, or candy coated.

        Since they were dropped in after processing and before packaging, they must have been taken out of their own packaging. If the emp just dropped his box in, they’d be finding the box instead of the individual candies. If there was a process after the drop point that had the capability of tearing the medicine from the packaging, the candy and the medicine would also be torn up.

        Just my brain wanting to work through the puzzle. Surely many of my assumptions could be disproved.

      • redkamel says:

        @Greasy Thumb Guzik: I wonder what it must feel like to watch your boss doing some calculations at the meat grinder and then drip his calculator in it. It would be really hard not to laugh, or say “Oops!” really loud.

  14. Aeroracere says:

    When you eat your smarties, do you eat the drugged ones last?

  15. hindenpeter83 says:

    I grew up in this region. As creepy as this is, hopefully it is an isolated case, and further proof that you shouldn’t let your kids trick-or-treat in that neighbourhood that’s near the nuke plant…

  16. KernelM says:

    Mmm Canadian Smarties… way better than M&Ms. Though, I do also like American Smarties.

    • domesticdork says:

      @KernelM: I’ve never understood how anybody can like Smarties better than M&Ms…I’d rather eat American Smarties (which are a pretty lame candy) than Canadian Smarties. *shrug*

  17. Ninjanice says:

    Crazy Canadians and their flappy heads! :)

  18. trk182 says:

    Sounds like a bonus to me, DayQuill costs more than candy so you’re getting more for your money….although if its holloween candy its free anyway.

  19. samurailynn says:

    Perhaps the manufacturer was worried that all those little tykes would get colds from being out running around on a cold night, so they were just providing some free cold medicine.

  20. QuanikaJulisa says:

    Like Hooray4Zoidberg, my gut response to this is that it is another hoax. Almost every tainted/contaminated candy story you hear or heard turns out to be a hoax.

  21. RedwoodFlyer says:

    Blame Canada…Blame Canada!

  22. skippywasserman says:

    This is just another of the benefits of socialized medicine. Free candy with your medications.

  23. CapitalC says:

    I wonder if Nestle is “taking it seriously”…

  24. JuantheGardener says:

    Pardon my ignorance. I didn’t know Canadians celebrated Halloween. I thought it was strictly a US holiday.

  25. komodork says:

    the drug can be harmful to small kids!

    (yeah! a Canadian story!)

  26. ouphie says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but we used to refer to the America Smartie and “Snorties”. They were often ground up and snorted by school kids. I never really understood why…

  27. ElleDriver says:

    American “Smarties” doesn’t have chocolate? Good grief. We Canucks also have Tropicana made purely from real Florida oranges, with no additives – not like the American version, made from concentrate and “mysterious” preservatives.

    You’re being short-changed, people! Write to congress!

  28. dollen says:

    I worked for Jolly Rancher before the moved to CA as well. I can tell you that a scenario where a person who was sick and trying to get their drugs down could have easily done that at the bagging station or wrapping station. I recall one person dropping batteries in a batch. At least we could catch that in a metal detector. These, I don’t know how you could catch it.

  29. kyle4 says:

    I’m shocked Americans don’t have chocolate Nestle Smarties. What is this injustice? We Canadians must let you have these incredible chocolatey treats.

  30. syrian_gamer says:

    Hey guys, in Canada “Smarties” are chocolate candy coated candies that are kinda like m & m’s. the Smarties in the USA is called “rockets” down..err UP here. Why rockets? who knows

  31. Anonymous says:

    Canadians DO have American Smarties here, they’re exactly the same candy but they are called “Rockets”. I looove Rockets :D And Nestle Smarties are the best the best the best :D

  32. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    For those of you who wonder what the difference is between Smarties and M&M’s, here is an interesting comparison. [www.typetive.com]

  33. Yoooder says:

    I miss Canadian junk food :(

    Smarties, Aero Bars, Jersey Milk, Ketchup Old Dutch chips (or any Canadian chips; the US is about 20 years behind on the invention of “flavor”); French-fries you have to eat with a fork smothered in ketchup and vinegar, or poutine.

  34. foodporncess says:

    This American loves her Canadian Smarties as well as her English Smarties. I can’t get them anywhere near me, if I want them, I have to have friends bring them when they travel, or order them from Amazon. Smarties kick M&Ms ass.