So much for the alcohol vaporizer

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Michigan has just banned machines that allow people to inhale alcohol vapor (alcohol without liquid (AWOL)):
Machines that allow people to inhale alcohol are now illegal in Michigan.

Governor Granholm signed a bill prohibiting devices known as "alcohol without liquid" that vaporize hard liquor. The law makes it illegal to possess, sell or use an AWOL machine. Violators face up to 90 days in jail and a 500 dollar fine.

Supporters of the law say the machines cause a more rapid, intense buzz because the alcohol moves through the lungs instead of the digestive system.

I'm not sure why creating a more rapid, intense buzz is bad. On the contrary, I would expect this to be more readily controllable because there's less lag between consumption and effect.

The truth, I suspect, is that this is more of our schizophrenic attitude towards intoxicants. It's clear that much of the appeal of alcoholic drinks is that they're intoxicating, but the fact that there's also an aesthetic experience in terms of taste provides cover for that (which is also why wine and cocktails are considered classy but drinking pure hard liquor is less so). AWOL strips away that veneer and reveals itself as naked intoxicant use, which is apparently something that many Americans are unwilling to face.

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Scientific Inquiry from on January 14, 2006 7:07 PM

With some dry ice and a bottle of whatever, you can construct a device through which you can actually inhale alcohol. Down at UCSD for the weekend, some colleagues and I had a bit of extra time and decided to produce a little video to show you how. We ... Read More


As someone currently drinking a single malt, I have to say I enjoy the intoxicant effect in its currently delivery form, and I probably wouldn't buy or use an AWOL system. But the nanny state aspects of this are pretty bad. Until this is shown to f*ck up the lungs, which I suspect it does, this is just making the systems more attractive to those out to prove they're hard core.

I recall hearing somewhere, maybe on EG :-), that the biggest opponent of such technology was the liquor/alcohol industry. They were apparently afraid that such technology might undercut their market, since, you know, people just want to get high.

At 20 min of constant inhaling to get the equivalent of one shot, they should be banning it for being a waste of good drinking time.

Seems like you'd get a really quick buzz the old fashined way, downing several shots in a row. Wouldn't take no 20 minutes to feel it.

Purely in the name of science, where can I get an AWOL. And is this the ultimate low calorie way to get drunk?

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