New Alcohol Trend Involves Inhaling It

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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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