Alcohol Vaporizers Outlawed in Kentucky
By: Gerri Elder
Drinkers in Kentucky will just have to consume the bourbon that they claim is the best in the world the old fashioned way - by drinking it. The state has recently passed a law prohibiting alcohol from being vaporized for inhalation as an alternate to drinking it from a bottle, glass or flask.
The alcohol vaporizers are devices that look a bit like asthma inhalers, but instead of delivering asthma relief, the alcohol vaporizers deliver an intoxicating mist that is inhaled. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear recently signed a bill into law that bans alcohol vaporizers from being sold, purchased or used in the state.
What's the Big Deal?
The governor said that there was great concern about alcohol vaporizers among law enforcement and medical communities in Kentucky because vaporized alcohol is so easy to consume and over consume. By inhaling the alcohol, there is a potential to quickly reach dangerous or even lethal blood alcohol concentration levels. Without a liquid remainder sloshing around in the stomach, some users could easily lose track of their alcohol consumption and mistakenly believe that they can drive or operate machinery after inhaling alcohol. This opens up the possibility of DUI arrests, alcohol related traffic fatalities or other serious accidents.
Kentucky Just the Latest State to Jump on Board
The alcohol vaporizer ban will take effect in Kentucky in July. About 20 other states have also banned the devices. In Tennessee, lovers of Jack Daniels whiskey are back to sipping and in California, wine connoisseurs are not allowed to inhale their fermented masterpieces. Some states passed laws prohibiting alcohol vaporizers when they realized that existing laws against underage drinking did not prohibit minors from inhaling alcohol, according to a report by the Daily Herald.
Alcohol Safety is Key
Alcohol vaporizers have been marketed as party novelty items and touted as a zero calorie way to consume alcoholic beverages. Almost any type of alcohol could be used with the vaporizers, making it a quick and easy way to rapidly consume even hard liquor.
The liquor industry in Kentucky, including the makers of Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark and Jim Beam, has supported the ban of alcohol vaporizers in the interest of safety. Any device which makes it difficult to gauge how much alcohol has actually been consumed can be very dangerous. The makers of the leading alcohol vaporizer device insist that their product is safe when used responsibly and carries no more risk than drinking alcohol.