While health authorities work to determine whether vaping marijuana is to blame for a recent spate of lung illnesses and is, as your Aunt Kathy says, “the devil’s fog,” there’s one substance authorities can agree is downright bad when vaped: alcohol.
That’s why alcohol vaping machines are illegal in the U.S., and why a Minnesota bar has been fined for having one on its presence. The Associated Press reports a bar in suburban Dakota County was recently reprimanded for having the device; its owner reportedly didn’t know the machine was illegal, having heard about it from a fellow bar owner in Wisconsin.
This TIME piece from 2003 summarizes most of the important points about this form of alcohol consumption, which saw an uptick in popularity more than a decade ago. Alcohol vaping or smoking was popular among young drinkers and people who wanted to avoid the calories from drinking alcohol. It also poses major health risks. The alcohol hits the bloodstream quickly and is not metabolized by the liver, meaning a person can get very drunk very quickly—even more quickly than they would taking shots or chugging a beer. These devices didn’t entirely go away, though many are banned by specific states.
Alcohol MIST, the particular device called out by law enforcement in the photo above, describes its process thusly: “The Alcohol MIST system fills disposable latex balloons with a fine mist containing micro-droplets of liquid alcohol ready to be enjoyed.” It also describes its product as a “possibly more responsible way to serve liquor shots,” so, grain of salt.
In summation, if you’re concerned about your health, please refrain from vaping the following: