Anyone Have 1st Hand Experience With AWOL (Alcohol Without Liquor) Machines?

AWOL (Alcohol Without Liquor) Machines: An oxygen generator and a hand-held
vaporizer that when mixed with alcohol produces a mist which is inhaled through the mouth.

These machines were in the news last weekend after The Trust Lounge in downtown NYC had to use Gatorade in lieu of vodka.

Apparently, these machines are legal in Europe in Asia. According to everything I’ve read, they produce the same affect as drinking alcohol, without actually having to consume it (therefore; no calories). Though I enjoy the taste of a good bourbon or a cold beer every once in a while, I have to admit I find these machines rather interesting.

From what I understand, you need to breathe the mist for about 20-30 minutes to feel the alcohol’s affect. BAL% still registers via breathalizer tests, but because there’s no alcohol absorbed through your small intestines, it’s impossible to get a hangover.

Have any European or Asian Dopers ever gone out drinking (inhaling?) and actually used an AWOL? Care to share your experiences? Inquiring minds wanna know.

Something is not adding up. If you are getting a true buzzed feeling from it, the alcohol is obviously reaching your brain. The way it seems to be reaching your brain is absorbtion through the lungs rather than the stomach and digestive tract. I suppose that would work fine. However, your BAC is going to be the same as if you just drank it.

The fact that alcohol is usually absorbed through the digestive tract is only a very small part of what causes a hangover. What causes a hangover is the various other components of a given drink. For that reason, pure vodka consumption produces a milder form (or none at all) of a hangover than things like champagne or even Scotch.

Assuming this thing works at all, it is simply getting relatively pure form of alcohol into your body via an alternate method. If I still drank, I would declare that one big, sissy waste of time.

This is the best, easiest possible way to die of alcohol poisoning since the beer bong. I shudder to imagine all of the stupid college and high-school kids who will end up dead because of this.

I love it. A machine for those aspiring to win a Darwin Award.

That doesn’t sound right at all. Hangovers aren’t just caused by the effect of alcohol in direct contact with the intestines.

I don’t know. I’m just repeating what I’ve heard & read parroted from my local news outlets. From the second link:

So other than the hangover mystery, I have a few other questions for those who’ve actually strapped on of these things on their muzzle:

  1. Is the breathed vapor affect the same as drinking?
  2. Do the alcohol affects last as long?
  3. Does the affect hit you quicker or does it creep up on you?
  4. Of the (let’s say) 10 bars you frequent how many / what % of those establishments have an AWOLM?
  5. Do the vapors give any sensation of flavor? Does Scotch vapors ‘taste’ different than other spirits?
  6. Do you know anyone else who’s tried an AWOLM?
  7. Are they popular enough to actually have a specific demographic following?
  8. Have you ever heard of anyone binge-breathing?
  9. Do the more pretentious people have the bartender fill the AWOLM with Grey Goose or top shelf liquors as opposed to well/rack liquor?
  10. When these AWOLMs were 1st introduced, did local laws have to be modified to allow them?


This is like having a Playboy with all the stories removed.

Casting my mind back, I have experience of something somewhat comparable; when I worked in a warehouse, one of my jobs was to de-palletise crates of liquor and stack them as tightly as possible into 40ft shipping containers; on one occasion, we had stacked one or two ‘walls’ of gin and vodka and (for some reason that I don’t recall) the container had to be moved to a different loading bay. The driver pulled the trailer forward just a little too sharply and the stacks inside fell over, breaking several hundred bottles - a waterfall of spirits sluiced out of the open doors of the container.

I helped out with the tidy-up, which involved removing a couple of hundred soggy, split cartons of bottles and broken glass and carefully stacking them back on pallets - this operation had to be performed inside the poorly-ventilated container, which, as it was a very hot day, was filled with strong alcohol fumes.

We were quite drunk when we finished, several hours later and I did have the mother of all hangovers the next day.

Well I’m not suprised…you did say gin.

Even though I can’t find a cite regarding the AWOLM’s no-hangover phenomenon directly from the manufacturer - I assumed (if correct) it has something to do with the vaporized oxygen.

Oh great, a new way to get drunk!

As if the regular way didn’t cause enough damage.

This is a VERY BAD THING. The alveoli in your lungs are not designed to transport alcohol across their membranes. Doing so in large amounts can, and will, damage them. It’s like smoking, you’re putting something in a part of your body not meant to take what you’re putting in it! As far as no hanger…bull. Several things cause a hangover, includuing, but not related to:

Other compounds the drink (there may even be trace amounts of non-ethanol alcohol…I can’t imagine even the finest distilerly can eliminate ALL of it.)

Dehydration (which would still occur. If it gets to your blood, it will sap water out of cells.)

Electrolyte imbalance (caused in part by dehydartion.)

And the general effect of having something in your blood not meant to be there, taking up space that the good stuff in your blood could be using.
In addition, without having the alcohol going through the stomach and small intestine, you are eliminating an important defense against alcohol poisoning, vomiting. You could way too easliy give yourself a MUCH higher BAC than by drinking and not know it until you die.

So in one fell swoop thousands of years of recipe, ritual, and remembrance are reduced to the same experience as huffing Scotch guard? What a wonderful idea. And since your lungs cannot vomit, I can only imagine the fun of hacking up a lung-full of pure alcohol. I suppose this same crowd can be found with IV’s of Ice House and the occasional Canadian Club Colonic.

I think I’ll stick to beer, thanks. By the way, did the people breathing Gatorade get that condition where it comes out of your skin, like of the commercials?

I’d be very dubious about the low-cal and low-carb claims made by the proprietary company promoting the AWOL machines. If the alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, it doesn’t matter whether that’s through the G-I tract or the lungs; either way, the liver will have to process it and convert the alcohol into fat. I suspect that any caloric reduction associated with the AWOL hits stems more from lower overall consumption associated with inhaling vs. imbibing.

BTW, alcohol poses a significant cancer risk to every tissue it contacts: heavy drinkers face significantly higher risks of developing oral, esophogeal, stomach, and hepatic cancers, and probably pancreatic and others as well. Inhaling alcohol, therefore, suggests not just conventional emphysema-inducing lung damage, but possibly a strongly carcinogenic effect there as well – and I expect such risks would be compounded when smoking and/or exposure to heavy air pollution is involved. Just my WAG. Presumably there haven’t been any serious medical studies probing the risks of this infant and rather curious technology?

I’m also concerned about the way the alcohol is misted in (pure?!?) oxygen. Hello?! FIRE HAZARD!!! When you combine O2 tanks, high-proof alcohol-oxygen aerosols, and a bunch of non-safety-trained inebriated idiots, you’re begging for a disaster. :eek: What about in the European bars – is smoking permitted around the AWOL machines?

Rumor has it the German protype used in this 1st class lounge turned out to be a complete disaster.

It sounds like they used the wrong carrier gas, hydrogen, instead of much more inert radon, which is the gas of choice (GOC) today.

Damn, that was my idea - sort of. I’ve wondered what would happen if one took some “hits” from an ultra sonic humidifier filled with vodka.

I also thought some of the bad effects are due to the process of eliminating the alcohol from the body - does not seem like it maters how it got there.

I can’t speak from having used that device, but I have used vaporizors to smoke pot before. I was less than impressed, it had almost no effect at all. Could have been due to a cheap vaporizor but I can’t really be sure.

The woman sitting two seats over from me used the AWOL last weekend. She got very, very drunk. But I think she has a tendency to get drunk easily, being a flyweight :wink:

You do know it takes 10 to 20 minutes to imbibe a shot on this system, right?

You know, I am sitting here trying to picture this, and the only images I am able to come up with are people on respirators. I see women, dressed to the nines, with an air mask strapped to their faces for twenty minutes at a time. Then, when they remove them, a red ring around their mouths. That, my friends, sounds sexy.
Bizarre. :rolleyes: