Beware the vaportini

Let’s close out the weekend with a bit of a palate cleanser which may not actually be all that refreshing. Kids have been trying dumb things to get a bit of a buzz since… well, probably as long as there have been kids. My generation was no exception, and I still recall all sorts of strange rumors that ran around. They included things like smoking corn silk and taking aspirin while drinking a coke. (There were worse ones I won’t repeat here.) But this weekend I saw a report on a more recent “trend” which sounded kind of strange at first and is probably hazardous enough that people should be aware of it.


People are now “smoking” alcohol.

Doctors are growing concerned over a new, potentially dangerous way young people are consuming alcohol: smoking it.

On YouTube, videos posted by young people show them inhaling wispy vapor swirls coming out of their drink bottles. Unlike drinking alcohol, where the liquid is metabolized through one’s liver, inhaling alcoholic vapors sends ethanol straight to the lungs, the blood stream and ultimately, the brain.

“Do not try this. This is extremely dangerous,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital.

When I first saw this, particularly given the trendy sounding name “vaportini” I was immediately intrigued. Hey, it’s alcohol! And I love martinis! But the medical experts seem pretty well convinced that this is a particularly bad idea, even above and beyond the normal dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption, drunk driving, etc. Apparently one of the chief dangers is that you can overload your system very quickly, without the normal delay as the stomach and liver process it through drinking. Also, when you drink too much, you’ll tend to vomit and expel some of the excess out. But when it’s inhaled, you can’t get rid of it like that.

Still, the inventor of the Vaportini was defending it.


Julie Palmer, the inventor of the vaportini, told NBC 4 New York her product is not intended for binge alcoholic consumption.

“Vaportini is not about getting drunk as fast as you can. It is about enjoying alcohol in a new way,” Palmer said.

Yes, I’m sure a warning like that will do the trick. It’s not like kids ever overindulge in anything bad for them, right? I mean, huffing gasoline fumes would probably be fine if you just monitored how much you were sniffing. No, this looks like a bad idea from the start, and that’s coming from somebody who is willing to try just about anything alcohol related.

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Jazz Shaw 8:30 AM | February 25, 2024