MD Lawmakers Look To Expand Smoking Alcohol Ban To Include Vapor - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

MD Lawmakers Look To Expand Smoking Alcohol Ban To Include Vaportini

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MARYLAND - Lawmakers in Maryland are trying to do away with a dangerous trend called smoking alcohol. A bill is now on the table to ban a fairly new product called Vaportini, which is used to inhale alcohol vapors.

When alcohol is inhaled, it goes straight to your blood stream – making you feel the effects of alcohol a lot faster. Alcohol Without Liquid machines or AWOL machines for short, mix alcohol with pure oxygen to create vapors that are inhaled.

AWOL machines are illegal in 20 states including Maryland. But a newer product called Vaportini has some people fuming in Annapolis.

"The medical doctors are saying they really don't know how it effects the brain, and they think it could be really detrimental," Delegate Charles Barkley said.

Delegate Barkley is sponsoring House Bill 4, which looks to expand the definition of AWOL machines to include Vaportini or any similar device. The Vaportini heats the alcohol with a candle.  The vapors are then inhaled through a straw. It's supposed to enhance flavor and save calories. The woman behind the product, Julia Palmer says it's almost impossible to get intoxicated using the device.

"With the Vaportini, it takes about 20 minutes to consume one ounce of alcohol if you're aggressively sipping. And it does start metabolizing right away, so you never have more than one ounce in your system at any time," she said.

But until there's medical evidence to back that up, Delegate Barkley says he isn't letting up.

Those who violate the current AWOL ban are charged with a misdemeanor and are required to pay a $1,000 fine. If the Vaportini is included in the definition of AWOL machines, violators would face the same penalties. If the bill is passed, it would take effect in July of this year.

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