Nebulizing Alcohol: A Dangerous New Trend

September 10, 2015 2 min read

A number of stories have been circulating around the internet about people consuming alcohol in an all new way: inhalation. Apparently, people use nebulizer machines, hookah pipes, vaporizers and more to turn their booze into smoke and breath it in. The stated benefits are that it’s lower calorie, since the alcohol isn’t going through your stomach, and that it reaches and affects your brain much quicker.

This may be so, but there are a number of reasons why breathing alcohol is much more dangerous than doing things the old fashioned way and simply drinking it.

  1. Your Liver’s Cut Out of the Process

    Alcohol is a toxin. Fortunately, your liver can break most of it down into less harmful compounds. But inhaling nebulized alcohol bypasses your liver altogether, making alcohol consumption more harmful.

  2. Alcohol Poisoning Is More Likely

    It’s harder to measure the amount of alcohol breathed in, and therefore easier to overdo it. But there’s a second, scarier reason alcohol poisoning is more likely when breathed in-- your body has no means of getting rid of it. If you drink too much alcohol your body can make you throw up and get the toxin out of your stomach. Sure, this isn’t fun, but it could potentially save your life. When inhaling alcohol your body doesn’t have this safety mechanism.

  3. Nasal and Lung Infections

    The harmful chemicals in alcohol could harm your lungs and airways, another downside especially for those of us with respiratory conditions.

  4. It’s Less Fun

    Greatist News recently interviewed people online who had tried inhaling alcohol. Unanimously, they didn’t enjoy it as much as regular drinking. One person described it as “unpleasant, not unlike inhaling exhaust from a truck.” Another said the feeling “was more like dizziness or lightheadedness than actual intoxication.”