Breathable Booze

By James Madeiros


As if drinking alcohol wasn’t easy enough – welcome to the age of breathable booze.

Breathing inhalable liquor is nothing new and was first introduced to the U.S. by the Brits in 2004. That product, called Alcohol Without Liquid (or AWOL, for short), was set for a splashy debut in Manhattan shortly after its unveiling in the U.K., but New York lawmakers brought the party to a quick and decisive halt.

This is likely the best way to explain why you don’t see people huffing booze at every bar you visit, because the science is sound. AWOL and other similar kinds of machines that have been invented since are not vaporizers; they’re nebulizers that mix alcohol with oxygen and then deliver it in a boozy, breathable mist. The difference is significant – anyone trying to use an actual vaporizer could overheat the alcohol and cause an explosion …

And, it will get you drunk. There’s no doubt about that, but the ease and efficiency of the alcohol delivery system, which bypasses the liver and puts alcohol directly into your bloodstream, could also lead to addiction, abuse or even poisoning; the types of things that make health officials and legislators extremely skittish.

Even so, the powers that be could not fully prevent breathable alcohol from entering the U.S. market and you can still seek out AWOL and other machines – although you probably won’t find them in bars. Lawmakers have yet to enact a federal ban on breathable alcohol and have attempted to push legislation through Congress many times over the years, but state liquor authorities are powerful entities and most have done well to dissuade public establishments from offering breathable booze.

Legal Stuff: We should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).

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