US: Anti-hangover shot draws criticism from sensible drinking lobby
A product launched in the US which claims to reduce the effects of a hangover has been condemned by proponents of sensible consumption and marketing of alcohol.
The new product, called IntelliShot, is described as a "liquid supplement that helps naturally flush alcohol's most toxic metabolite".
IntelliShot's producer, a Las Vegas-based company called Cheerz USA, claims that the 45ml lemon-lime flavoured shot, which can be drunk straight or as a mixer, contains a blend of powerful immune system boosters and super-antioxidants "clinically proven to help naturally reduce and eliminate acetaldehyde, a powerful muscle poison created as the body breaks down alcohol in the liver".
In its publicity, Cheerz USA recommends taking one shot "following every third or fourth cocktail". The company already claims to be shipping the product to select nightclubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Miami Beach.
However, the brand has already received criticism for its apparent encouragement of excessive consumption.
Peter Duff, chairman of Alcohol in Moderation, an international body which aims to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol and which is supported by drinks companies, told just-drinks he was "shocked" by the idea of such a product, adding that by offering to alleviate the effects of a hangover it was encouraging binge-drinking and went counter to the industry's message of advocating responsible consumption.
However, Cheerz USA CEO Patrick Cochrane said the product was aimed at sensible drinkers who wanted to avoid the lingering after-effects. He pointed out that the product has no effect on inebriation, does not absorb alcohol or lower BAC, nor will it circumvent the consequences of overindulgence. "If you intoxicate your body beyond its ability to process alcohol, nothing will save you," he said. "Cheerz is for responsible social drinkers who want the buzz without the dangerous lingering effects."
In another comment which is certain to cause concern among those in the industry striving to project a responsible image for alcohol and alcohol companies, Cochrane added: "The next time your bartender asks you to 'name your poison' he or she will be able to offer you a safe and natural antidote too."
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