Inhalable caffeine: The lazy man's pick-me-up

February 27, 2012
  • Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

I judge the downfall of American society by various benchmarks, events that I believe represent a marked new low in our failure spiral. And it took no real talent to notice the latest ignoble notch: Inhalable caffeine.

That’s right, inhalable caffeine. For when drinking a cup of coffee is just too much work. The product, known as AeroShot, came on the market last month. You can tell inhalable caffeine is new because it doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page yet. It’s packaged in a thumb-sized tube that goes for $2.99, and to get an instant jolt, all one needs do is lift it to the mouth for a quick blow.

Of course, there is a group of people out there who is Very Disturbed by this innovation, and is calling for an all-out investigation by the Food and Drug Administration. It is the same group of naggers who, based on health and safety concerns, has feared every improvement in modern society since the beginning of time, and goes by the name of “Democrats.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says he fears that inhalable caffeine will, according to news reports, “be used as a club drug so that young people can drink until they drop.”

I’m hip. You know, “passing out” just isn’t the warning sign it used to be. In a perfect world, nature has a way of telling you that you’ve had enough, and that was when nature placed you facedown in the catbox, still clutching a piece of the lighting fixture you reached for when you began to go down.

Now, the sky’s the limit. One puff of caffeine ought to be enough to get you through another three or four white Russians, minimum. Really, without it, you might not have remained awake to experience all the great stuff that can happen to you in between a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 and 0.18.

And think of all the buzz that’s wasted on the sound asleep. You don’t want that. You paid for those eight shots, you want to be able to see them through.

But, of course, drinking is the furthest thing from the minds of inhalable caffeine’s developers. That’s why it’s sold in liquor stores.

I always like the products available at liquor store counters that you can grab as you’re paying for your bottle: You can buy stuff to keep you alert; you can buy stuff to negate beer breath; you can buy stuff to cure headaches; you can buy stuff to avoid hangovers — all the stuff that, frankly, you wouldn’t need to buy if you didn’t buy the bottle in the first place.

But I digress.

Another issue is that this inhalable caffeine really trumps that 5-Hour Energy product — you know, the one where the guy who lives in a house with no art on the walls complains that he’s late for work and has no time for coffee. And then chugs from what appears to be a bottle of nail polish remover.

But did we learn nothing from Jolt Cola? There’s always something quicker and easier right around the corner. Energy drink? Pshaw. In today’s hectic world, who has time to swallow?

AeroShot also says it can be used in a variety of settings that are “inconvenient for liquids.” Yeah, in your face, you little doily-shop owner with your condescending “no beverages” sign on the door. And McDonald’s never would have gotten itself sued if it sold air coffee, instead of an actual, piping-hot beverage.

But, at the very least, inhalable caffeine will keep us going until they come up with something truly useful, like inhalable beer.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at

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