Alcohol sales professionals have an obligation to serve alcohol responsibly. As such, any responsible seller of alcoholic beverages should be aware of a new product which hit the shelves in December, the Vaportini™. Working like a traditional vaporizer, this new product heats up alcohol with a votive candle, and releases the vapors into a small chamber which the user inhales through a straw.
There is an increased risk of serious intoxication with this device, especially if used irresponsibly. The Vaportini works by bypassing the digestive system and causing alcohol to be absorbed directly to the bloodstream through the lungs. Normally, when a person consumes an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol is absorbed primarily through the stomach and small intestine. The presence of food slows this process further. Food in the stomach keeps alcohol in the stomach for a longer period of time which means that it will be absorbed into the bloodstream at a much slower rate. This is why it’s advisable to offer your patrons a snack or a meal while they are imbibing. However, when alcohol is inhaled, it enters the lungs and goes directly into the bloodstream, causing effects much more quickly and inducing a powerful buzz.
Worth nothing is that the Vaportini shares some similarities with the Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) device, a nebulizer which mixes alcohol with pure oxygen. The AWOL device debuted in 2004 and was quickly banned in over 20 states, including Nevada (Nevada Revised Statutes). Alcohol vaporizers like the AWOL are illegal in Nevada, so make sure you are up to date with your TAM® training, and maintain a thorough knowledge of applicable local and state laws.
The novelty of inhaled alcohol is especially attractive to young adults and teens, especially when the Vaptorini retails at a price of only about $35. Peer pressure is a constant concern among young people. Teens want to fit in, and alcohol is not only easily accessible to many, it can also contribute to the party atmosphere at celebratory events. For additional tips to help combat alcohol consumption among teen drinkers, check out our blog post, “Teen Drinking is a Dangerous Business.”
Are you concerned about the potential dangers of alcohol vaporizers such as the Vaportini?
© 2013 National Hospitality Institute®, TAM® of Nevada