Friday, January 27, 2006

A.W.O.L. - Alcohol WithOut Liquid

I heard an NPR segment, on January 25th, about AWOL - Alcohol Without Liquid. It's a device that allows one to consume alcohol without drinking it and without those inconvenient hang-overs. Reportedly, it's "a new low-calorie, low-carbohydrate way for adults to consume alcohol."

More quotes from their site:

"AWOL consists of two components: an oxygen generator and a hand-held vaporizer. Tubes from the generator attach to the vaporizer. The user chooses an 80-proof spirit, which is poured into the vaporizer. Oxygen mixes with the alcohol producing a mist which is inhaled through the mouth."

"Alcohol enters the bloodstream through the lungs rather than the stomach making AWOL low calorie and low carbohydrate. The resulting feeling is the same sense of well being an adult gets from consuming alcohol in the traditional manner, only milder."

"When used responsibly, there is no evidence to indicate greater risks from using AWOL than consuming alcohol in the traditional way. AWOL should be used no more than two 20-minute sessions within a 24-hour period."

In particular, I'd like you to make note of the parts in bold. That's the part that's been disputed by those who'd like to ban this delivery system... before it even gets to the U.S., according to the NPR segment. Surprisingly, the AWOL website gave me the impression that the product is already available. I'm not sure which is true, but the real issue, from what I heard is about whether the effects of this consumption method are more or less intense than drinking the same quantity of an alcoholic beverage.

Politicians from Boston* say the effects of inhaling alcohol would be more intense, while AWOL suggests otherwise. When questioned about this discrepancy, the politician in the NPR interview wisely responded that it all comes down to whether you're trying to ban the product or sell it.


My take: I think it's important to figure out whether this product would produce milder or more intense effects, but I also think that hinges on how we view mood-altering substances. If the effects of this product ARE more intense then, putting the potentially false-advertisement claims aside, if it's used responsibly, there'd be no problem... right?

We already know that liquid alcohol can be used responsibly or irresponsibly. Why can't we trust people to inhale alcohol as responsibly as we trust them to drink it?

What's YOUR take on this?
Questions? Comments?



* - Maybe that's what's up. Maybe the product isn't available in Boston, but it is or soon will be inNew York.

6 comments:

Ed Cunard said...

I have no idea. My applied science knowledge is real hazy--like, Hammer-horror-film-foggy hazy--but I'd think that since it's a more direct route to the bloodstream, the AWOL stuff would be more intense.

When they say "milder," though, perhaps they mean in regards to the ancillary affects of alcohol consumption--the upset stomach, the nausea, other gastrointestinal-type effects--rather than the intoxicating effect of the alcohol.

West said...

I'd think it'd be more intense, too. If for no reason other than the fact that the more complex a process (outside of complexity for the sake of efficiency), the less efficient I'd expect it to be.

I'd expect the air-cohol to be more potent.

re: "When they say "milder," though, perhaps they mean in regards to the ancillary affects of alcohol consumption--the upset stomach, the nausea, other gastrointestinal-type effects--rather than the intoxicating effect of the alcohol.'

Maybe they did, in that article, but the company representatives definitely deny its opponents claims that you'd get highER from inhaling than from drinking.


I hope they really break it down, some time soon, because it seems that such a lie (if that's what it is) would be easy enough to disprove... so why lie about it, at all? But people do that, anyway, so I dunno.

Would YOU try it, Ed?

Onanite said...

Hmmmm. I drink a coctail once in a while because I like the taste of it. Seems like this new product is just for those who want to get plastered without the negative affects.

Onanite

Ed Cunard said...

Not for me--the drinking part of, well, drinking is as the intoxication, if not more so.

Plus, it sounds too much like the "flavored air" things I've seen people use... It's... I don't know, kind of ridiculous.

West said...

Quoting onanite:
"Hmmmm. I drink a coctail once in a while because I like the taste of it. Seems like this new product is just for those who want to get plastered without the negative affects.

Onanite"


I meant to mention that.

I guess "regular" drinking will always be around because some folks want the taste... or even the full experience, including the full bladders (although that may happen, either way) and hangovers, n stuff.

"Welcome," by the way!

Quoting ed cunard:
" Not for me--the drinking part of, well, drinking is as the intoxication, if not more so."

??

"Plus, it sounds too much like the "flavored air" things I've seen people use... It's... I don't know, kind of ridiculous."

Yeah. There'd be a helluvan adjustment curve, for a lot of folks. I'm guessing those who enjoy substances BEYOND alcohol would be more likely to give it a shot.


Actually, it reminds me of something from Batman Beyond of some futuristic flick.

Ed Cunard said...

I meant that the flavor, the "thirst-quenching" (even if it really doesn't quench thirst, it kind of feels like it does), the atmosphere at places where one drinks--the whole thing is more than the end result of intoxication.