Wake Up Call

Vaportini Lets You Breathe Your Booze; Doctors Say the Smoking Alcohol Trend Is Dangerous

There are already plenty of ways to get drunk. (See: shots, keg stands, chugging, or just sipping your damn beer like a normal person.) But if none of those options sounds appealing, you can now inhale your booze, thanks to the Vaportini, a product released earlier this year.

The Vaportini allows anyone with a bottle of 80 to 100 proof alcohol turn said booze into an inhaleable substance, which probably won't get you wasted but will -- eventually -- give you a nice buzz. But apparently there are genius teens and 20-somethings out there who are rigging up their own contraptions for smoking booze, a new trend that some doctors say could be pretty dangerous.

See also: Citizen Public House in Scottsdale Plans to Unveil Carbonated, Bottled Cocktail on New Year's Eve

The new product was created by Chicago restaurateur Julie Palmer, who got the idea after travelling to Helsinki, where she inhaled vodka poured over hot coals at a spa. She went home and got help from her father, an engineer, to re-create the experience at her own cocktail lounge.

She launched the product last December and it's really pretty simple. For $30, you get a glass globe, ring, straw, funnel, and a candle. You can also purchase a pint glass for another $12. Basically, the Vaportini works by putting your alcohol into the globe, which then rests on top of the pint glass. You vaporize the alcohol by lighting a small tea light at the bottom of the pint glass and, after several minutes, inhale the booze through a straw inserted into the globe. To see it in action check out the video below.

Palmer recommends that the product be used with flavored liquors that are 80 to 100 proof, and even then she makes clear that the product is meant to be used for enjoying alcohol in a new way -- not binge drinking.

Nevertheless, doctors are voicing concerns about a growing trend with young people: smoking booze. You can check out tons of videos on YouTube of people showing off their rad homemade alcohol vaporizers -- even Vice decided they had to give it a try recently, though if their bumbling attempt is any indication of how most people are going about it, we're not surprised it's potentially dangerous.

But why exactly are fun-suckers so up in arms about the trend? For starters, there's been little research done about humans inhaling alcohol, so it's difficult to determine whether doing so poses any new risks. And one thing that is for sure is that inhaling alcohol rather than drinking it should get you drunk faster since it will go directly to your brain. That's why some doctors say it's particularly dangerous for college freshman younger people who definitely don't may not know their limits.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria