The videos can be found all over the Internet. People "smoking" or inhaling their favorite alcoholic beverage. All to get a faster buzz, or in an effort to avoid calories.
But the reality is the consequences could be deadly. Doctors warn that by inhaling it, alcohol initially bypasses the liver, meaning there's no time for it to metabolize or be slowed down by food in the digestive track. Instead, it goes straight to the lungs. And the lungs aren't made to handle alcohol intake.
"If you take a drug via inhalation like nicotine from a cigarette or alcohol from one of these devices, it's going to get to your brain much more quickly and that in theory could have a larger impact than if you consumed it orally," says Dr. Keith Shelton, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Virginia Commonwealth University.
There's also a risk of alcohol overdose or even poisoning because it's unknown how much alcohol is being consumed.
Shelton has studied similar things in the past, but he says there has been no research on the long term effects inhaling alcohol.
"There's been no study done on that at this point," he says. "We just really are entirely in the dark about what the long term, or even the short term effects of the compounds. And until we get some objective information on just how intoxicated this actually makes you become. I think caution is certainly warranted."
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