The Missouri legislature is considering a partial ban on something promoted as "the ultimate party toy."
Sometimes it’s called the "AWOL Machine," an acronym for "Alcohol Without Liquid." It’s an alcohol vaporizer that turns alcoholic beverages into a breathable mist that goes straight to the lungs and the brain, giving an immediate high. Advocates of the legislation say children are using these devices.
Kansas City Youth Prevention Specialist Ryan McElhaney says the state should ban these things. because they give youth another reason to experiment with alcohol. Support comes from Gladstone high school senior Kelsay Wiggins, who says the devices look cool and appeal to her peers. She says many of her peers already use alcohol irresponsibly and should not be given a chance to abuse it more than they already do.
They say the devices use hard liquor…and there’s no way to use the machine responsibly.
McElhaney says the popularity of the vaporizers is growing quickly. She says last year when she asked classrooms of children about the devices, one or two children raised their hands. This year, she says, about half of the students are familiar with them, many because a popular internet site has videos showing how to inhale alcohol.
A state senate committee has made the bill a priority for early debate–with language inserted that would let adults continue using the machines. .
(The bill is SB747)