Booze Vaporizer "More Dangerous" Than Drinking
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A new device, called the Vaportini, serves up a new way to get drunk faster: inhaling booze directly into the blood stream. Parents are being warned about the potential dangers of the vaporizing device, which is available online for only $35. Experts say inhaling alcohol is more dangerous than drinking since it bypasses the body's natural defenses against toxicity (such as vomiting), bringing an increased risk for alcohol poisoning. "It is ill-advised for experimentation among those under 21," warns Dr. Thomas Greenfield, center director at the National Alcohol Research Center in Emeryville, California. "There could be inexperienced people at parties under peer pressure who find themselves using this method of alcohol consumption." He adds that inhaling alcohol may make it harder for people to regulate the amount they consume. Inhalation may also increase the risk of abuse and addiction, says Robert Walker of the University of Kentucky Center on Drugs and Alcohol Research. "When you inhale alcohol right into the lung tissue, that gets drawn right into the blood supply immediately, so it's a very rapid onset of the intoxicating effect, and so has obviously very high abuse potential," he says. Kevin Morse, president of Spirit Partners in Greensboro, N.C., which markets the device, claims it's legal and harmless: "At the end of the day, it’s just a new way for adults to enjoy alcohol in a different manner." Another alcohol inhalation device, the Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL), caused controversy when it was released in 2004; it has since been banned in 22 states.