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Inhaling alcohol to ditch the calories – Is it wise?

Posted in: Weight Loss 18 Jan, 2013

A new product that allows you to inhale alcohol instead of drinking it has just become available in the United States. According to the Huffington Post vaporising alcohol is legal in 48 of the 50 states and currently falls within that grey area of the law that most current legal highs fit into.

Contrary to what we might think, it’s been said that the vapours produced when alcohol is slowly heated in the Vaportini can be appreciated in a similar way to when alcohol is swallowed in its liquid form. It’s said to provide an instant effect or ‘buzz’ that passes quickly. However it’s at exactly this point where one has to wonder about the purpose of the Vaportini.

As a habitual calorie counter, I thought that using the Vaportini could perhaps be seen as a nifty way of avoiding calories, while still appreciating the many levels of perfection of a Remy Martin Cognac. Although I quickly moved away from this train of thought, not just because that would be a shameless waste of good Cognac, but because the concept of a quick ‘buzz’ evoked feelings of unease dangerously close to all sorts of other substances intended to provide a high. But, pioneers involved in introducing the Vaportini to the public insists that it’s not meant to replace drinking at all, but to be seen as a ‘bottle service extra’ or part of a desert.

I read many of the articles available on the topic, some (Mail Online) reported with an air of panic with the unavoidable side of scaremongering, while others were more liberal in their views. For a change I feel inclined to agree somewhat with the Mail’s approach to the topic, mainly because the article makes a fair point when it considers that there isn’t much information available on the effects of inhaled alcohol on the human body. There is also the general suspicion with which any government views inhaling anything that one would not traditionally inhale.

Fundamentally I don’t think that the Vaportini will take off in a big way and that those who would abuse it would probably have been people who would have not used alcohol responsibly in the first place. As for the concept that it could be used to help you lose weight, while still being able to enjoy a drink, it’s just as silly as using cigarettes to suppress appetite. If we are drinking purely for the purpose of getting drunk, ultimately leading to binging and intake of excess calories, it’s a different issue all together.

When looking to maintain our weight or if we really need to lose weight, I don’t believe that there are any short cuts. Yes, we may see the short-term benefit of cutting out drinking calories, but fundamentally short-term quick fixes aren’t ways to breed long term sustainable good habits. Things that may seem like a good idea at the time may do undesired long term damage that we can’t always predict at the time.

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