Connecticut has joined a number of other US states in making Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) devices illegal in the state.

House Bill 5668 will be enforced from 1 October, prohibiting the sale, purchase or possession of AWOL machines. Punishment for using this equipment in Connecticut will be a fine of up to US$1000 or imprisonment for up to six months, or both.

Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) vice president Jay Hibbard said: "Governor (Jodi) Rell and Connecticut lawmakers have made it clear they do not want this device in the state and we commend their resolve to pass this law."

The alcohol inhalation machines, which mix alcohol with pure oxygen, have been banned in 17 states already with legislation pending in seven other states. Diageo is also a well-voiced opponent to the device, launched in August 2004, which is coined on resolving hangover problems.

"This device is being marketed and sold as a party toy," added Hibbard. "Our industry deplores any attempt to encourage reckless consumption of alcohol."

In August 2004, Spirit Partners announced that it has acquired the exclusive license to market the AWOL technology in the US. The company denied that it iss an irresponsible product, saying it was "simply a fun, new, exciting way for adults to enjoy alcohol in a responsible manner."