London, Feb 9 (ANI): A lipstick-sized caffeine inhaler, dubbed 'AeroShot', could be the next big thing for people to get their caffeine fix, researchers say.
However, the critics have asserted that the novel product does have its risks.
The product hit the market late last month in Massachusetts and New York, and is also available in France.
A single unit is priced at 2.99 dollars at convenience, mom-and-pop, liquor and online stores.
Harvard University's Biomedical engineering professor David Edwards said that AeroShot is safe and does not contain common additives, like taurine, used to amplify the caffeine effect in common energy drinks, the Daily Mail reported.
Each grey-and-yellow plastic canister contains 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, almost the amount in a large cup of coffee, plus B vitamins.
But Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review AeroShot, insisting that he fears it will be used as a club drug so that young people can drink until they drop.
Edwards said Schumer's comments are logical in the context of developments over the last few years, when students looking for a quick and cheap buzz started consuming caffeine-packed alcoholic drinks they tagged 'blackout in a can' because of their potency.
Yet he maintained that AeroShot is not targeting anyone under 18 and it safely delivers caffeine into the mouth, just like coffee.
"Even with coffee - if you look at the reaction in Europe to coffee when it first appeared - there was quite a bit of hysteria," he said.
"So anything new, there's always some knee-jerk reaction that makes us believe 'Well, maybe it's not safe'."
Once a user shoots a puff of calorie-free AeroShot into his or her mouth, the lemon-lime powder starts dissolving almost instantaneously. 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.
Dr Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and internal medicine doctor at New York-based St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, cautioned that 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,' Dr 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," Dr Ganjhu added.
Even the product packaging warns people not to consume over three AeroShots per day. (ANI)
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