How bicycle pumps and ball needles were introduced to drinking we may never know. But a new drinking trend, that doesn’t involve drinking, is getting people drunker faster. Smoking alcohol vapor has garnered attention among teens and college students, as well as doctors.
The most popular ways to smoke alcohol are to pour alcohol over dry ice and inhale the smoke with a straw. The other is to pour alcohol in a bottle and to pressurize the liquid with a bicycle pump that has a ball needle passed through a cork. When the alcohol is condensed and the cork is removed from the bottle lid, the alcohol rapidly expands and fills the bottle with alcohol vapor. The vapor is then inhaled.
The attraction alcohol vapor has for a person is its ability to intoxicate quickly and because the alcohol isn’t metabolized by the stomach or liver the body doesn’t consume the calories. Also, less alcohol is required to get drunk when it is ingested as a vapor.
When too much liquid alcohol is consumed the body has countermeasures to prevent alcohol poisoning. Vomiting is the body’s natural reaction to expel excess alcohol. However, alcohol vapor circumvents the stomach and the liver, making it hard for the consumer to gauge their alcohol intake and leaving them without a safety net if too much alcohol was ingested.
The vapor also damages the nasal passage and lungs. Inhaling alcohol is not a viable option to get drunk due to the difficulty of monitoring intake and the absence of the body’s safety net if too much alcohol is consumed. Warn your child about the effects that alcohol vapor has on the mind and body.