Powdered alcohol spells disaster for prevention efforts and danger for those most vulnerable

Montréal, 12 March 2015 - Éduc’alcool believes that the recent authorization to produce and sell powdered alcohol in the United States will be a veritable disaster with regard to prevention and pose an enormous danger for society’s most vulnerable members. The organization is responding to the decision by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to allow the production and sale of Palcohol, as the product is known. The product was approved, despite the fact that a number of states, including Ohio, Colorado and New York, have already banned it, while many others are preparing to do so.

“Never mind the issue of quality control; the mere fact that production and sale have been approved poses a danger. Anyone, including minors, can buy powdered alcohol, and have it mailed or delivered easily to their home. Plus, there will be no way to control pricing, which means that Palcohol will make alcohol so much more available, and that is particularly worrying,” said Hubert Sacy, Director General of Éduc’alcool.

Éduc’alcool has other serious concerns about the sale and promotion of powdered alcohol. The newly approved company that created Palcohol has already stated that the product can easily be taken to a movie theatre, concert, or sports event to avoid paying steep on-site prices. It has even recommended sprinkling the product directly on food.

“Worse still, on its website, the company had suggested to future customers that the product could be snorted, like cocaine. It has since revised its position and stated that snorting is not recommended. In its retraction, it said that snorting is not a responsible or intelligent way to consume Palcohol, adding that it would cause a painful burning sensation in the nose and there would be no benefit. For many young people, such a warning is practically the best way to ensure that they will, in fact, do exactly that,” added Hubert Sacy.

“It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to control the sale and use of powdered alcohol, and just because the product is not available in Quebec does not mean that teenagers and society’s most vulnerable members won’t get their hands on it. For these reasons, it is of the utmost importance that parents and young people be made fully aware of how terribly dangerous this product is. Disapproval and social stigma must play a part in limiting the damage,” concluded Hubert Sacy.