Manufacturers of alcohol vaporizing devices tout them as “innovative”, “fun”, “revolutionary and stylish new way[s] to consume alcohol.” One website even focuses on the calorie free aspect of vapor consumption rather than drinking alcohol. Two of the newer products are depicted below, the Vāpshot and the Vaportini. However trendy these products are, it is important to know that they are not permitted in New York bars and clubs (or other retail establishments).
New York Alcohol Beverage Control Law section 117-b provides:
Possession or use of alcohol vaporizing devices prohibited. 1. For purposes of this section, “alcohol vaporizing device” means any device, machine or process which mixes spirits, liquor or other alcohol product with pure oxygen or other gas to produce a vaporized product for the purpose of consumption by inhalation. 2. No licensee shall knowingly possess or make available for use an alcohol vaporizing device upon the premises of an establishment licensed pursuant to this chapter. 3. A violation of the provisions of this section shall be an offense punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars. A violation of the provisions of this section after having been previously convicted of such an offense within the previous five years shall be a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars. 4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the authority from instituting proceedings to suspend, cancel, or revoke a license as provided in section seventeen of this chapter.
Thus, a first offense is likely to get you a $5,000 fine (when they say “not more than,” you can count on getting the highest penalty in many cases) and a second offense will get you a criminal charge and a $10,000 fine, and possibly cancellation or revocation of your license. If you have a pending disciplinary action related to this issue, it is a good idea to seek experienced counsel to defend you in the disciplinary proceedings. These penalties are serious and can have grave consequences on your future personally and professionally.