AeroShot Pure Energy, an inhalable caffeine product that went on sale last month, is now under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who are concerned about whether the product is safe for costumers.
AeroShot Pure Energy canisters offers users the same amount of caffeine they can get in one cup of coffee, and advise costumers not to use the product more than three times a day.
To get a shot, users put one end of the lipstick-sized canister in their mouths and breathe in. A fine powder containing caffeine and B vitamins is released and dissolves in your mouth and throat, giving you an immediate burst of energy.
AeroShot company Breathable Foods has vigorously defended the product, saying it only delivers a safe amount of caffeine without the taurine or other additives used to spike other energy drinks. Pure Energy is not recommended for or marketed to customers under 18 years of age.
For the FDA and Sen. Charles Schumer (D.-N.Y.), however, these assurances aren't enough.
Sen. Schumer, who urged the FDA investigation, met with FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg to push for AeroShot Pure Energy to be reviewed both for safety and for general legality.
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 was quoted as saying by The New York Daily News.
Schumer worries that the product may be mixed with alcohol, and that the quick-fix caffeine product's design encourages abuse.
This is the new Four Loko, he said, referencing the caffeinated alcohol drink banned last year by the State Liquor Authority after an FDA investigation.
One problem with Schumer's argument, however, is that AeroShot Pure Energy canisters cannot be singled out in a market filled with energy boosters and caffeine fixes.
Caffeine supplements used for weight loss and energy boosts have flooded today's market, and ways for teens to take hit after hit of quick-fix products are already readily available.
One No Doz caplet, sold over the counter, has roughly 200 milligrams of caffeine, twice the amount in one shot of the inhalable coffee canisters. One 5 Hour Energy Drink shot gives users the same amount of caffeine as one AeroShot Pure Energy hit, and is easier going down.
Nonetheless, an anonymous FDA official told the Associated Press that the product will still be tested to see if its safe for consumption and whether it could qualify as a dietary supplement.
Breatheable Foods has said it will cooperate fully with the FDA investigation, and that it is confident AeroShot Pure Energy canisters will be cleared for widespread use.
When used in accordance with its label, AeroShot provides a safe shot of caffeine and B vitamins for ingestion, its web site reads.
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.
In fact, Sen. Schumer's attempt to stop the inhalable caffeine canisters from being distributed could end up boosting its popularity, which has lagged since its limited release in Massachusetts and New York. Shop owners report they have only sold a few of the AeroShot Pure Energy products since they arrived in stores.
It's not my style, Paola Marte told The Daily News. I'd rather drink coffee.
Another New Yorker, Joe Morena, agrees: Huffing caffeine sounds pretty disgusting.