We recently found out about the new inhalable caffeine product called Aeroshot, a convenient lemon-lime canister providing a burst of energy plus B vitamins. Now however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether Aeroshot is safe for consumers, even though the product is labeled as a dietary supplement.
Spearheaded by Senator Charles Schumer, the main concern the FDA has with Aeroshot is that it will be misused primarily by kids and teens in a harmful manner. This reaction is largely based on the previous caffeinated fads like Four Loko, which young people used as a means to drink to excess. Because of how easy it is to inhale a serving of caffeine, Schumer is concerned that people will “take hit after hit in rapid succession”. Pressure from Senator Schumer and others facilitated the FDA’s decision to curb the sale of beverages like Four Loko, after it was dubbed “blackout in a can”.
The makers of Aeroshot, including Harvard biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, feel that the product is safer than many others on the market because it does not contain taurine and other additives that enhance the effect of caffeine in most energy drinks. Each $2.99 canister contains B vitamins and 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, the equivalent amount of a large cup of coffee.
Aeroshot is currently sold in New York, Massachusetts and France. The product avoided an FDA review because it is sold as a dietary supplement, however now Aeroshot is pending review. The company, Breathable Foods, said they will fully cooperate with the FDA and are confident that the product will be found to be safe. Proper consumption directions are included on the label, and Aeroshot is not recommended or marketed for those under 18.
On the company website it says, “When used in accordance with its label, Aeroshot provides a safe shot of caffeine and B vitamins for ingestions. Caffeine has been proven to offer a variety of potential benefits for health to individuals when consumed in moderation, from providing energy to enhancing attention and focus.”
While the opportunity for abuse of this product is certainly out there, comparing it to a caffeinated alcoholic beverage such as Four Loko is a little extreme. Caffeine pills have been available at convenience stores for years, so unless the FDA can prove that the method of inhaling caffeine is somehow more potent or addictive than simply taking a pill, than all the ingredients for the next club drug are already out there, with or without Aeroshot.
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