Vaping Alcohol: A dangerous new way to get drunk

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If you’ve been follow trends online recently you may have noticed that people have given up drinking booze and started vaping it. That’s right the hot new trend among frat bros, and popular media websites like BuzzFeed, and vice is vaping alcohol.  For a while I have been interested in this new degenerate way of getting wasted especially after watching the video above. YouTube user Scam School shows you just how easy it is to get drunk without taking a sip of alcohol. Apparently all you need to vaporize booze is a plastic bottle and a bicycle pump with a cork attached. It seems like an easy way to get hammered without spending a lot of money right? Let’s look at the history and the potential dangers of vaping alcohol. Its amazing what people will do just to get drunk.

There has been many trends throughout the years of ways to get wasted. Some people like to shotgun a beer, make a champagne enema, or even pour shots into their eye sockets.  And this latest trend of smoking alcohol just seems like another trend that will die out.

In 2004, the public became aware of the dangers of vaping alcohol when an AWOL (Alcohol without Liquid) device, hit the market, but it was quickly banned in the United States. Vaping alcohol however has not completely died out, and we are now seeing a re-emergence of this dangerous trend. New alcohol vaping products are becoming available to the public like the Vaportini, which is legally sold in 50 states. The site boasts: “This has the advantage of no calories; no carbs, no impurities and the effects of consuming alcohol are immediately felt, making it easier to responsibly imbibe.”

The Vaportini is available to buy all across the United States and is legal according to its creators

The device cost $35 dollars and was available online. The product heats up alcohol into a mist which is then inhaled. The product allows alcohol to be ingested directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, which could have some potentially dangerous side effects.

Dr. Thomas Greenfield, Center Director at the National Alcohol Research Center in Emeryville, California said “It is ill advised for experimentation among those under 21.”  Dr. Greenfield warned of the risks involved with this method of consuming alcohol. “To my knowledge there have been no human studies on the effects inhaling alcohol”.

When alcohol vapor is inhaled through the lungs, it goes straight to the blood stream and the brain, getting the individual drunk very quickly.  Since the alcohol bypasses the stomach, liver, and small intestine it doesn’t lose any potency and can become a very dangerous method of ingesting alcohol.

“When you inhale alcohol right into the lung tissue, it gets drawn right into the blood supply immediately, so it’s a very rapid onset of the intoxicating effect, and has obviously very high abuse potential,” said Robert Walker of the University of Kentucky Center on Drugs and Alcohol Research to the New York Times.

The process of inhaling alcohol into the lungs could potentially be quite irritating, leading to a drying effect of the respiratory tract passages and nasal lining. This drying effect of the alcohol could predispose individuals to a higher risk of lung infections such as pneumonia, or pneumonitis- an inflammatory condition in the lung. Many people has described an extreme pain in the lungs and nausea from vaping alcohol. One Vice reporter said that vaporizing booze made it feel like her lungs were bleeding.

Risk / dangers of smoking alcohol

  1. Alcohol is poisonous to your lungs and nasal passages
  2. You Can get alcohol poisoning easier because your body can not expel excess alcohol because it is directly vaporized into the blood stream. (you cant throw up which is your body’s way of preventing overdose)
  3. Vaping alcohol increases the risk of addiction and abuse
  4. It is Harder to control the amount of alcohol you consume when you inhale it

This trend it currently gaining traction, and not just with college kids and curious risk takers. It’s becoming popular among people who are trying to lose weight but still want to enjoy alcohol without all the empty calories.

Fox’s KCTV covered the trend and interviewed a North Texas man, Broderic Allen, who says he lost 80 Lbs after he stopped drinking and started smoking alcohol to keep the weight off.

What ever happened to just taking shots? People are going to extreme lengths to stay skinny and still enjoy an alcoholic beverage. If you are serious about getting healthier and losing weight maybe you should just cut out alcohol all together.

Their is no real way to tell how popular this trend is becoming because there are no current studies tracking cases. But like other fads, videos of people vaping alcohol have increasingly popped up online.

Popular media websites like BuzzFeed, and Vice have also jumped on this trend, making videos and writing articles about their experiences while smoking alcohol. The problem is these sites glamorize vaping alcohol and their impressionable young audience could see this and want to try it themselves. BuzzFeed however is not responsible for what their audience says or does. It should be the parents job to discuss with their children the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

Vaping alcohol is a very stupid, and dangerous trend. We advise you not to try this at home because the risky side effects outweigh the benefits.

Even though there are no published scientific studies on the negative effects of smoking alcohol, the potential for harm, based on how to the vaporized alcohol enters the body is concerning. I suggest no one try this for themselves because of the significant dangers associated with this activity.

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