Smoking alcohol: Not safer or healthier, expert says - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Smoking alcohol: Not safer or healthier, expert says

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From YouTube. From YouTube.
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Just when you think you've seen it all, we found a new trend on the internet: Smoking alcohol and getting drunk by huffing the fumes of booze and beer.

With more than 3.2 million views, one of the most popular videos explains how to create "alcohol smoke" using beer, champagne, and even Four Loco.

The idea of inhaling vapors has become attractive. Many believe smoking alcohol helps avoid excess calories, and helps minors maneuver around age limits.

Experts say both are notions are misguided.

"Nothing surprises me as to what people will do when they abuse substances," offered Dr. Cynthia Lewis-Younger, director of the Florida Poison Control Center.

So far, there are no reports of health problems resulting from the practice here in Tampa Bay. But experts believe the activity is dangerous.

"I think the possibility exists that people would overdose more readily simply because they would be inhaling it, their levels would be rising quicker," explained Lewis-Younger.

Alcohol, in liquid form, is first absorbed through your stomach. Inhaled alcohol vapors bypass that.

"In the lung, they only have to go through one cell width to get into the blood stream, so it's practically immediate," continued Lewis-Younger.

In large quantities, alcohol can be deadly -- whether its drank or inhaled. More than half the patients seen in an emergency room, regardless of the reason, are intoxicated.

"Most people don't think of it as a poison, but yet it is, if you use too much of it," Lewis-Younger added. "And it is very easy to use too much of it, if you are using it too quickly."

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