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Inhalable Caffeine to Hit US

Friday, 30 December 2011 12:19 PM

AeroShot claims its portable tube-like device containing 100 mg of caffeine — set to hit U.S. stores in January — provides a "healthy energy boost" just in time for the New Year. But health experts aren't so sure inhaling your caffeine is such a good idea.
Launched in Paris this fall (and available for shipping to European customers), the AeroShot provides about the same amount of caffeine as one large cup of coffee — and it joins a slew of other byproducts of the energy drink craze. Starbucks created a prototype that was piloted in 2006 and delivered minty blasts of caffeine. There are also caffeinated gums, a caffeinated chapstick called Spazzstick, and Buzzaire, which also delivers metered, 150 mg doses of caffeine under a mint spray.
According to a report from National Public Radio (NPR), Senator Charles Schumer of New York says the Aeroshot "could be a dangerous health hazard if it gets mixed with alcohol." According to a press release, he sent a letter FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg calling for a review of the product's safety before it hits U.S. retailers.
Caffeine can reduce the natural sedative effects of alcohol, allowing someone to drink for a longer period of time. Plus experts say the combination can stimulate the body's dopamine system, which can inspire more drinking, and may facilitate the false perception that a person is less intoxicated then he or she actually is.
The concern over AeroShot follows that of a pre-mixed canned party beverage called Four Loko, which contains caffeine, guarana, and taurine. After drinking Four Loko at a party, a group of a college freshman landed in the hospital with near-fatal blood-alcohol levels, sparking several states to restrict the sales of the beverage.
A video showing the product's Paris launch in October features partygoers sampling Aeroshot while drinking alcohol.
According to the NPR report, AeroShot's inventor David Edwards, a professor of biomedical engineeringing at Harvard University, says that the product allows you to control the dosage, so you don't overload on caffeine. "That's part of what leads to the nasty spike and withdrawal cycle that leaves caffeine addicts feeling drowsy," according to NPR. Plus it offers "an appealing alternative to sugar-laden energy drinks," Edwards told NPR.
Edwards is also the nose behind Le Whif, which was touted as the world's first inhalable vitamin when it launched earlier this year. Similar in design to the AeroShot, the lipstick-like tube delivers inhalable vitamins that have been ground into aerosolized particles. Eight puffs reportedly provide 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and B5.
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Inhalable caffeine is set to be sold in the United States providing, according to its manufacturers, a "healthy energy boost."
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Friday, 30 December 2011 12:19 PM
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