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So... Vaping Alcohol Is A Thing And We Tried It

*sip sip*

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The device costs $45 online and uses a simple candle flame to heat up whatever liquor you pour into it. You then use the straw to inhale the alcohol vapors from a glass orb.

Eventually you're just, you know, SIPPING BOOZY AIR OVER AN OPEN FLAME. What could possibly go wrong, right?!

Inventor Julie Palmer says she was inspired by a trip to Finland, where she saw the Nordic "tradition" of pouring vodka over hot coals in saunas. It seems like the kind of thing that's just plausible enough, so after a quick Google search yielded no results, I reached out to Kjell, a Norwegian friend. He confirmed that it was less of a tradition and more of "another weird way we sometimes handle alcohol. Others including sniffing glue, eating shoe polish, or drinking hair tonic."

Vaportini sent a couple our way, so we decided to give them a try. However, it's important to note that "vaping" alcohol can be dangerous and should only be done in very small amounts.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

Dr. Kathryn Boiling at Mercy Medical Center in Maryland explained that the vapor isn't passed through the liver before it circulates throughout your body: "When alcohol is inhaled there is no first-pass metabolism so the full power of the drug, in this case alcohol, reaches the brain."

It's also hard for your body to get rid of alcohol consumed through vaporization. According to Boiling, “there is no mechanism to expel alcohol if too much is inhaled, unlike when drinking alcohol... [where] you vomit up what remains in the stomach, preventing more alcohol absorption.”


Dr. Lisa Lowery of Helen DeVos Children's Hospital advised us to take in "just one small amount the first time and see how that goes."

“It is important to remember that alcohol goes directly to the brain and lungs by doing this," explained Lowery.


The taste? Kind of like breathing in Hint water, except with alcohol.

If that's not descriptive enough, imagine walking through a fog and inhaling its cold mist. The mist lightly coats your tongue with, depending on the spirit, a very subtle whiskey flavor, without the aggressive burning sensation of alcohol.

Read on for our first impressions.


In conclusion, we wouldn't vape alcohol on the reg — part of the fun in drinking is the drinking — but it's probably worth it to try at least once.

So, the big question... Did we feel a buzz?

Jeff vaped the most out of all of us — he estimates about 25 sips — and he reports: "Yes, I felt buzzed, but it was a different kind of buzz. It was more of a light-headed buzz than a-few-drinks-in buzz. It lasted for like maybe 30ish minutes and then it went away."

(Again, if you're going to vape alcohol, always start small to see how it affects you.)

The rest of us didn't feel much of anything, although we only vaped a few sips each. But we had fun.