Smoking alcohol is trending among drinkers. Some think it is a health innovation while others think it should be outlawed. There are two ways to smoke or inhale alcohol. You can pour alcohol over dry ice and inhale the vapors or you can free-base the alcohol by pouring it into a metal basin, holding a flame under the metal and inhaling the vapors.
THE ADVANTAGES OF SMOKING ALCOHOL
1. Weight Loss
Some people smoke alcohol to lose weight without eliminating alcohol from their diets. Many people participate in this trend because when you inhale alcohol vapors rather than drinking the alcoholic beverage, you get the same effect as drinking, but extremely fast and without the calories, sugar, or carbohydrates in the alcoholic beverage. Alcohol smokers who want to lose weight can enjoy the effects of alcohol while staying within their calorie restrictions. Broderic Allen of Texas stopped drinking as part of a weight loss plan, lost 80 pounds and smokes alcohol to keep the weight off. Allen told newscasters, "I can have my cake and eat it too" (WFAA/CNN).
2. It's Trendy
Other people who smoke alcohol prefer inhaling over drinking and that is why they do it. If you use flavored spirits, you will taste the flavor much like when smoking a flavored hookah. Some people find smoking alcohol an enjoyable activity and experiment with different spirits much like wine tasting. You can find a list of the best alcohols for inhaling on vaportini.com which advertises the "Vaportini," a hookah-looking instrument for free-basing alcohol that you can buy for $30 or more.
WANT TO CUT DOWN ON CALORIE INTAKE FROM ALCOHOL? TRY THESE 5 SKINNY SUMMER COCKTAIL RECIPES!
THE DISADVANTAGES OF SMOKING ALCOHOL
1. Greater Risk of Alcohol Poisoning
Doctors are warning people that smoking alcohol is extremely dangerous because when you inhale alcohol it goes straight to your brain, blood, and lungs--it skips being metabolized by your liver and your digestive system. The reason this is so dangerous is because the risk of death from alcohol poisoning is greatly increased. Because the effect of the alcohol hits you so fast, you can easily overdose on the alcohol by inhaling too much too fast and you won't vomit to get rid of the alcohol because it is not in your stomach.
2. Damage to Lungs, Nostrils and Throat
Another disadvantage to keep in mind is the damage to your lungs, nostrils and throat. When you inhale alcohol by either method--the dry ice method or the free basing method--the alcohol vapors can severely dry out your nostrils and lungs which are mucus membranes. When you inhale alcohol using the dry ice method, the extreme cold temperature of the dry ice can damage your nostrils, throat, and lung membranes. In a WFAA via CNN news story, Dr. Walter Gamen of Texas described it as "pouring alcohol into your lungs."
Jamie Yacoub, M.P.H., R.D. is a clinical dietitian with a Master's of Public Health in Nutrition, and expected Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.) fall 2013. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in clinical nutrition from UC Davis after four years, during which time she participated in internships in several different nutrition environments including Kaiser Permanente and Women, Infants, & Children (W.I.C.). After graduating from UC Davis, she went on to study public health nutrition at Loma Linda University where she obtained her Master's of Public Health in Nutrition. Jamie completed the community nutrition portion of her dietetic internship as an intern for a Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition. She completed both the food service and clinical portions of her dietetic internship at a top 100 hospital in the nation, where she was hired as the only clinical dietitian shortly after. Jamie now works as an outpatient clinical dietitian and is an expert in Medical Nutrition Therapy (M.N.T.) using the Nutrition Care Process (N.C.P.) including past medical history and current laboratory values as a basis of nutrition assessment.