The California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee has passed legislation that would ban the controversial "alcohol without liquid" (AWOL) device, which allows consumers to inhale alcohol by mixing alcohol with pure oxygen. The bill now moves to the full Assembly for passage.

The bill, AB 273, sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Baca, Jr., would prohibit the sale or use of these machines or devices. Penalties include a fine of US$250 for the use of the machine and up to US$25,000 for the sale these devices.

President of the Distilled Spirits Council, Peter Cressy, said: "We commend Assemblyman Baca and the Committee for keeping these irresponsible devices out of California and we urge other states to do the same."

In August last year, Spirit Partners announced that it has acquired the exclusive license to market the AWOL technology in the US.

The company has denied that it is an irresponsible product, saying it was "simply a fun, new, exciting way for adults to enjoy alcohol in a responsible manner."