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Caffeine Huffing Awaits FDA Approval

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Do you wish you could feel the jittery side effects of caffeine without experiencing the enjoyment of drinking a cup of coffee? Are the innumerable caffeine-based java alternatives on the market -- from sodas to energy drinks and single serving shots -- not your speed, so to speak? Do you lack the time that the digestion process requires from swallowing liquids?

Then AeroShot, a new inhalable form of caffeine, may just be your patron saint of perk. That is, if the product passes Food and Drug Administration muster.

The lipstick sized grey-and-yellow plastic canisters, through which consumers huff doses of fine caffeine powder along with B vitamins, debuted in France and already hit markets in Massachusetts and New York. The product initially bypassed federal regulations because manufacturers branded it as a dietary supplement. But now, after some goading from New York Senator Charles Schumer, the FDA will launch an investigation to determine whether AeroShot does indeed qualify as a dietary supplement and if it’s safe for public consumption.

“I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to overusing a product that allows one to take hit after hit after hit, in rapid succession,” Schumer said.

Breathable Foods, the company behind AeroShot, claims the product is not recommended for children under 18 -- which of course has traditionally worked as a foolproof deterrent. At 100 milligrams of caffeine, one dose contains the maximum daily amount of caffeine adolescents should ingest as per the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation.

And certainly parents needn’t worry about the gateway potential to smoking. After all, it’s shaped like a tube of lipstick, not a cigarette.

As far as adults are concerned, moderate caffeine consumption tops out at 200 to 300 milligrams per day. To put AeroShot’s caffeine content into perspective, a single tube has the caffeine equivalent of a Dexatrim Natural Extra Energy (SNY) diet pill, 25% more caffeine than a shot of Starbucks (SBUX) espresso, 20% more than a can of Red Bull and almost three times that of a Coca-Cola (KO).

AeroShot’s packaging advises against consuming no more than three canisters per day.
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