Doctors warn of dangers of smoking alcohol

by: Diana Davis Updated:

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ATLANTA —

Doctors are warning about a dangerous new trend among some teenagers and college kids: Smoking alcohol.

Experts say it can have dangerous and sometimes deadly consequences.

Parents may not know about smoking alcohol but Channel 2's Diana Davis found out your kids may have already seen it on the Internet and YouTube.

Director of the Georgia Poison Center Dr. Gaylord Lopez said smoking alcohol is like a night of binge drinking in an instant.

"We don't know about the potential for brain damage. There's a risk of alcohol poisoning and the risk of alcohol overdose. People have died from alcohol intoxication so this may just be a quicker way to that tragic end," Lopez said.

There are not only homemade kits sold on the Internet, but experts told Davis some abusers have adapted ordinary tobacco hookahs to smoke alcohol.

Experts say it's the quick absorption of the alcohol from the hookah that makes it so dangerous, instead of absorbing alcohol through the stomach and the liver.

According to Lopez, smoking alcohol sends it straight to the lungs and brain, which eliminates the body's warning signs that you've had too much.

"You know you start getting sick to your stomach, you throw up, and everyone is familiar with that. But now, with this new method, you bypass that altogether. So those early warning signals that tell you that you'd better slow down are no longer there," Lopez told Davis.

Experts said some of the videos on the Internet lure kids with false promises like they can hide it from their parents or police.

Some also promise it's a legal way for minors to use alcohol. The truth is, it's against the law for anyone under 21.

You can also still get a DUI just the same as you can if you drink alcohol.

Lopez's warning for parents is to be on the lookout for paraphernalia and watch their children.

"They can easily figure out how to do a kit themselves. Parents need to be careful of what's going on," warns Lopez.