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07.2013

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedAtPressTime

SMOKY COCKTAILS

THIS MIGHT JUST BE TAKING THE CALORIE-CONSCIOUS THING TOO FAR.  Drinkers who want to get drunk without consuming empty calories are turning to a new, and dangerous, method that involves pouring alcohol over dry ice so the vapors can be inhaled.  One enthusiast, Broderic Allen from North Texas, who lost 8O pounds by “smoking” liquor instead of drinking it, explained that he can have his “cake and eat it”.  But of course there’s really no such thing as having your cake and eating it too.  Doctors warn the technique can have potentially fatal consequences as it sends larger and purer doses of alcohol to the brain by bypassing the liver and other organs.  Dr. Lawrence Pohl, medical director of the Mission Valley Medical Clinic in San Diego, California, describes it as a “crazy fad that makes no sense.  The concern is it can go to the bloodstream quickly, to the brain quickly, from the lungs,” he said, highlighting the dangers.  It’s toxic to the lungs and it could be a real concern and potentially have serious side effects.”  Research shows that inhaling liquor causes rapid intoxication and impairment and is more likely to lead to substance abuse.  Dr. Thomas Greenfield, center director at the National Alcohol Research Center in Emeryville, California, said he was most concerned about young people who might feel pressured into to experimenting with different methods of alcohol consumption.  Backing the trend, a $35 contraption called the Vaportini, which heats alcohol and allows it to be inhaled, hit the market last December.  Invented by Chicago resident Julie Palmer, the simple glass and metal device is offered as a novel method to consume drinks at the bar she owns called Red Kiva.  Whatever happened to simple calorie counting or a good, old fashioned vodka grapefruit juice?

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