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Alcohol and Breathalyzer News Update

BACtrack brings you the latest on what's happening in the world of alcohol, drinking, and breathalyzer testing.

London’s Newest Invention: Alcoholic Clouds

Consuming alcohol is obviously a very popular pastime the world over, and people are always trying to come up with new ways of consuming it. The latest comes to us from a pair of British “food artists” in London have come up with what may be the most interesting to date -- inhalation.

No, this isn’t powdered alcohol we’re talking about, but rather a gaseous cloud of alcoholic vapor released into the air using a powerful humidifier. Alcohol then enters the bloodstream not only through breathing, but incredibly, thorough the eyeballs as well.

The artists, Bompas & Parr, are selling tickets for entry into the “immersive alcohol environment” on July 31 for $15 a piece. Entry is restricted to one hour per person, at which time patrons may need to be carried out.

Study Shows Alcohol Helps Reduce Disability Caused by Chronic Pain

More news from the UK: in a recent study, scientists found that two pints of beer per day may reducing disability in people experiencing chronic pain.

The study looked at over 2,200 individuals with chronic widespread pain, the key feature of conditions such as fibromyalgia. Those who regularly consumed alcohol had lower levels of disability overall than those who never or rarely drank.

Dr. Gary Macfarlane, professor of epidemiology at the University of Aberdeen and co-author of the Arthritis Care & Research study, commented that they weren’t sure alcohol was the key factor to reducing the disability, “but the observed link warrants further investigation.” 

NZ Bus Drivers to be Subject to Mandatory Breathalyzer Tests

Public transportation bus drivers in New Zealand will soon be subject to random breathalyzer and drug tests. Previously the employees of the biggest operator in the country, NZ Bus, were only screened pre-employment and after an incident occurred. But now, with a raised awareness of drinking and driving, the company has decided to additionally include random testing.

Chief Operating Officer Southern Tonia Haskell said the random testing wasn’t introduced in response to any specific incidents, but reflected the seriousness with which the company takes health and safety.

Southeast Asia Cracks Down on Drinking with New Policies

A recently enacted amendment to Thailand’s Alcohol Control Act will next month prohibit sales of alcohol within a 300 meter radius of higher educational institutions.

The measures are aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and tackling alcohol-related problems, including underage sex, the Thai Ministry of Public Health said.

This is only the latest in a series of policies being passed by Southeast Asian countries aiming to crack down on public vices. Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, China and parts of India have all introduced regulations aimed at lowering sales for the good of the public. 

"This task of creating or strengthening a regulatory framework for alcohol turns out to be a task that countries ignore to their economic peril," said David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

"Alcohol can be a serious risk not just to health, but to development given that in much of the world it's the leading cause of death and disability for people ages 15 to 49."

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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4