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Health officials urge action to ban the sale of powdered alcohol

Health officials urge action to ban the sale of powdered alcohol, in an editorial published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Early last year, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a formulation of powdered alcohol, or Palcohol, for distribution and sale in the United States. Sold in packet form in five different flavors (vodka, rum, cosmopolitan, powderita, and lemon drop), Palcohol contains 55 percent alcohol by weight and can be reconstituted to its liquid form by adding water.

Citing a lack of safety data and the potential for abuse and misuse among both youth and adults, the Baltimore City Health Department convened physicians and public health leaders to endorse a statement on the clinical and public health dangers of the product.

Their advocacy efforts led to a ban on the sale and distribution of Palcohol in the city of Baltimore as well as the state of Maryland. Baltimore public health officials urge clinicians in local jurisdictions to form coalitions in their own areas to help keep Palcohol off the market.