Inhalable Caffeine Hits Store Shelves in N.Y., Massachusetts
The lipstick-sized tube AeroShot hit the market last month in Massachusetts and New York, and can be found in convenience stores, liquor stores and online for $2.99 for a single unit, according to the Associated Press.
The man behind the latest caffeine product, biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, said AeroShot is safe and does not contain common additives used to amplify the caffeine effect in common energy drinks. Each canister contains 100 milligrams of caffeine powder -- about the same amount as a large cup of coffee -- plus vitamin B.
However, not everyone is convinced. According to the news report, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for the Food and Drug Administration to review the product. He explained he fears AeroShot will be used as a club drug. An FDA spokeswoman to the AP that the agency will respond directly to Schumer.
Edwards acknowledged that the lawmaker's concerns are understandable in the context of developments over the past few years when students turned to caffeine-enhanced alcoholic drinks. However, he told the news outlet that his product is not targeted for anyone under 18 years old and safely delivers caffeine into the mouth like a cup of coffee.
Once a user shoots a puff of calorie-free AeroShot into his or her mouth, the lemon-lime powder begins dissolving almost instantly. Each single-use container has up to six puffs.
"The act of putting it in your mouth is the act of breathing -- so it's sort of surprising and often people the first time they take the AeroShot, they laugh ... that it's kind of a funny way of putting food in your mouth," said Edwards, who also came up with a breathable chocolate product a few years back.
However, Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and internal medicine doctor at New York-based St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, told the AP people need to be aware of how much caffeine they are ingesting.
"You want those 10 cups of coffee, it will probably take you a couple hours to get through all that coffee with all that volume that you are drinking," Ganjhu said. "With these inhale caffeine canisters you can get that in 10 of those little canisters -- so you just puff away and you could be getting all of that within the hour."