Smoking alcohol may do more harm than good
CREATED Jul. 22, 2013
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - For those who love to drink but are watching their weight smoking alcohol is the "in thing" in some bars in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.
"Smoking alcohol was something that was popular about 10 years ago. It was a very short-lived fad and kind of went away and now we are seeing the re-emergence of it," said one man.
But ER doctor Ryan Murphy insists the risks outweigh any potential weight loss benefits.
"Alcohol poisoning, rapid intoxication, loss of consciousness and you can imagine the consequences of that," said Dr. Murphy.
The fad is making a come back thanks in part to the internet. Youtube videos show young people using various way to vaporize and inhale booze.
Chris Wardlow is a drug and alcohol abuse prevention specialist who works with teens. He says young people are six times more likely to die from alcohol than all the other drugs combined.
"The primary reason is that it impairs their judgment and you put them under the influence of alcohol and it just intensifies the risks they are willing to take."
The trend inspired devices like the vaportini sold online for about $35 with everything you need to smoke alcohol except the booze.
Vaportini didn't respond for comment to this story but according to the company's web site defends smoking alcohol stating, "This has the advantage of no calories, no carbs, no impurities. Unlike traditional consumption of spirits, vaportinis give more control, shortly after exhaling all of the effects of the alcohol consumed are felt."
Dr. Murphy insists the immediate effects are one of the biggest risks associated with smoking alcohol.
"The body's defense mechanism if you drank too much you get sick and you vomit and the alcohol comes back out, however if you are breathing the alcohol in, you don't really have that safety mechanism."
Wardlow says this trend has been flying under the radar among adults but teens usually know about fads well before their parents do.
"I'm concerned that pretty soon we are going to start seeing maybe some warnings from public health officials about the lethality of something like this."
While vaporizing booze might be gaining popularity it's a risk health experts say is not worth taking.
Some people smoke alcohol by pouring it over dry ice but health experts warn that method is even more dangerous because of the toxicity of dry ice. Inhaling vapors from dry ice exposes you to high levels of carbon monoxide which can make you very sick.