AWOL: Alcohol Without Liquid

Scotch whisky drinkers savor its characteristic smoky flavor from the peat burned during its production, beer drinkers appreciate its slightly bitter flavor imparted by hops, and chardonnay drinkers enjoy the hint of vanilla that the wine develops from aging in oak barrels. Alcoholic beverages provide a wide variety of tastes that enhance the drinking experience.

However an Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) device is now being marketed. The machine vaporizes alcohol which customers inhale. Lost are the pleasant tastes and mouth sensations experienced in savoring a beverage. It’s like taking a fistful of vitamin tablets instead of sitting down and enjoying a delicious meal with family and friends.

The device is deceptively marketed as a way to avoid the carbohydrates in alcohol. But liquor contains no carbs. Whiskey, Scotch, vodka, rum, gin, tequila and other distilled spirits are carb-free. There's absolutely no need to inhale them to avoid carbs.

The possible health and safety risks of inhaling alcohol vapors are unknown and many legislators are wisely promoting laws to ban alcohol inhalation machines. Bills to ban the machines have been introduced in at least 13 states so far. Better safe than sorry.


  • Campbell, Lynn. Opposition mounts to alcohol inhalers. Des Moines Register, February 21, 2005; WHO TV (Iowa, ch. 13). Lawmaker drafts bill that would ban alcohol inhalers. February 21, 2005; Diageo. Diageo Supports Ban on “Alcohol Without Liquid” (AWOL) Machine. Diageo press release, January 26, 2005; Kliner, Kate. Liquor minus liquid: Why a new way of consuming alcohol may never make it to Tempe. Arizona State University Devil, February 10, 2005; Currier, Joel. Lawmakers take sober view of vaporized-alcohol machine. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 20, 2005.

Filed Under: Abuse