Inhalable caffeine mist stirs controversy

Inhalable caffeine mist stirs controversy

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by Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

kgw.com

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 22 at 7:30 PM

SALEM - The Oregon Partnership, a non-profit that fights substance abuse and suicide, is one of many organizations warning about a new form of caffeine which is inhaled as a mist.

The caffeine inhalers come in tubes about the size of a lipstick container. The instructions are simple: open, puff, close. Each dose contains 100 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the amount found in a large cup of coffee.

“There's a huge capacity for abuse,” said Tom Parker, Oregon Partnership’s communications manager. “You're talking about a quick shot that’s the equivalent of a cup of coffee...three or four of those or five of those and you're also consuming alcohol, it’s going to mask the effects of the alcohol,” Parker said.

The CEO of the company promoting the devices says they are safe.

"Breathable energy complies with all FDA dietary supplement guidelines,” said Tom Hadfield, CEO of Breathable Foods. “It’s a safe and healthy way to consume your energy," he said.

Since the products are sold as supplements, they do not have to meet FDA guidelines.

Sen. Charles Schumer says the FDA will look into the product to see if it’s dangerous for teens and others.

Parker said the caffeine inhaler has great risk, especially if it’s mixed with alcohol.

“So you're still going to get drunk, you're just not going to feel it as quickly and then that check is going to come due and it's gonna hit you like a ton of bricks," Parker said.

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