An inhalable caffeine powder that went on the market late last month in two states is under review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the product is safe.
The inhalable caffeine powder, AeroShot, went on sale in New York and Massachusetts last month. Now its inventor, Harvard biomedical engineering professor David Edwards, wants the product to categorized as a dietary supplement, which doesn’t require rigorous FDA approval.
The FDA review was triggered after a request from New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, who told the Associated Press, “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.”
Edwards said the product isn’t dangerous and doesn’t contain many of the common additives used to enhance the caffeine effect in standard energy drinks.
Breathable Foods, AeroShot’s manufacturer, maintains that when it’s used according to its label, it provides a safe level of B vitamins and caffeine — about as much as a large cup of coffee — and isn’t marketed to children.
Still, Schumer fears that it will be used as a club drug, citing incidents last year in which students looking for an easy buzz began consuming caffeine-packed alcoholic beverages they dubbed “blackout in a can” because of their potency. The FDA eventually stopped the marketing, distribution and sale of these drinks, including the popular Four Loko.
“We need to make sure that AeroShot does not become the next Four Loko by facilitating dangerous levels of drinking among teenagers and college students,” Schumer said in a statement.