Watch out, America! The Vaportini is coming to a store near you. That's right, why drink alcohol when you can INHALE it?
All jokes aside, this method of consuming alcohol can be extremely dangerous. Apparently researchers create alcohol addiction in rats by exposing them to the vapor (they don't like the taste of alcohol). Not only are the addictive qualities of alcohol increased, but the risks are as well. Rats exposed to alcohol vapor demonstrate anxious behaviors and deficits in the reward center of the brain. In humans, reward center deficits can lead to anxiety, depression, and decreased motivation.
The dangers associated with alcohol intoxication also increase with this method of consumption. Inhaling alcohol bypasses the digestive system which means two things: 1. alcohol is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream through the vessels in your nose and lungs causing a rapid and more intense buzz, and 2. protective measures of the digestive system such as slower absorption rates and vomiting become obsolete and may increase the risk of alcohol poisoning.
This isn't the first time alcohol inhalers hit the market. In 2004 AWOL (Alcohol Without Liquid) was introduced in the U.S. and quickly banned in 22 states. AWOL sold for $300 a unit, but at $35 a unit for the Vaportini, access is granted to many more people, especially college kids who are looking for a novel way to consume alcohol.