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Image 8 of The Advocate Messenger February 8, 2012

Part of The Advocate Messenger

A8 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2012 LOCAL THE ADVOCATE-MESSENGER WWW.AMNEWS.COM Getting caffeine fix as easy as taking deep breath RODRIQUE NGOWI Associated Press CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Move over, coffee and Red Bull. A Harvard professor thinks the next big thing will be people inhaling their caffeine from a lipstick-sized tube. Critics say the novel product is not without its risks. The product, called AeroShot, went on the market late last month in Massachusetts and New York, and is also available in France. A single unit costs $2.99 at convenience, mom-and-pop, liquor and online stores. Biomedical engineering professor David Edwards said AeroShot is safe and does not contain common additives, like taurine, used to amplify the caffeine effect in common energy drinks. Each grey-and-yellow plastic canister contains 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, about the amount in a large cup of coffee, plus B vitamins. But Democratic U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review AeroShot, saying he fears it will be used as a club drug so that young people can drink until they drop. Schumer’s national press secretary did not immediately respond to calls for comment. FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey declined to comment, saying the agency will respond directly to Schumer on the matter. Edwards said Schumer’s comments are understandable in the context of developments over the last few years, when students looking for a quick and cheap buzz began consuming caffeinepacked alcoholic drinks they dubbed “blackout in a can” because of their potency. But he said AeroShot is not targeting anyone under 18 and it safely delivers caffeine into the mouth, just like coffee. “Even with coffee — if you look at the reaction in Europe to coffee when it first ap- peared — there was quite a bit of hysteria,” he said. “So anything new, there’s always some knee-jerk reaction that makes us believe ‘Well, maybe it’s not safe.’” Once a user shoots a puff of calorie-free AeroShot into his or her mouth, the lemonlime powder begins dissolving almost instantly. Each single-use container has up to six puffs. “The act of putting it in your mouth is the act of breathing — so it’s sort of surprising and often people the first time they take the AeroShot, they laugh ... that it’s kind of a funny way of putting food in your mouth,” said Edwards, who also came up with a breathable chocolate product a few years back. Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and internal medicine doctor at New York-based St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, said people need to be aware of how much caffeine they are ingesting. “You want those 10 cups of coffee, it will probably take you a couple hours to get through all that coffee with all that volume that you are drinking,” Ganjhu said. “With these inhale caffeine canisters you can get that in 10 of those little canisters — so you just puff away and you could be getting all of that within the hour.” Even the product packaging warns people not to consume more than three AeroShots per day. Northeastern University students who sampled the product recently gave it mixed reviews. “This tastes really good and I think it rocks,” student Zack Huang said after puffing onto a free sample before rushing to join a group of friends who were walking away from campus. Still, one student was not happy with the taste, echoing sentiment expressed online by some consumers. People elsewhere vowed they would never give up their morning coffee. Snow big deal Three horses weather this morning’s light snow at a farm off Maple Ave. in Danville. Clay Jackson/ cjackson@amnews.com DISTRICTS, from A1 an issue that needs to be addressed by the Supreme Court.” Redistricting has mired the legislature’s session, leaving major issues in the lurch. With legislative redistricting in the courts, lawmakers have been unable to agree on new lines around the state’s six congressional districts. Stumbo said he expects congressional redistricting may also move into the court system, because the populations within the state’s six districts grew far out of balance over the past decade. “The federal rules are so BLANKETS, from A1 about 30 minutes. ree people working together can do it in 15 minutes, she said. In searching for a way to distribute her creations to those who needed them most, Higginbotham turned to the Harrodsburg Herald’s Love Tree, which collects toys and donations to provide Christmas gifts to kids in struggling families. 2009 was an especially tough economic year, and the Love Tree was ripe with the names of more than 400 kids in need. Higginbotham set an impossibly lofty goal — make enough blankets for every child on the list. In October, she began posting flyers and soliciting donations to buy the fleece. Blanket-making workshops were held in churches and other locations around the county. By early December, there was a blanket for every kid. “It was awesome to see the community come out like that,” Higginbotham recalled. strict on ‘one man, one vote’ that it wouldn’t surprise me if there were to some challenge,” Stumbo said. Stumbo had worked with the state’s congressional delegation on a proposed map, but Senate Republicans didn’t accept the plan. The congressional filing deadline passed on Tuesday afternoon, leaving congressional candidates to run in districts that have been in place for the past decade. For more than a month, Kentucky lawmakers have focused almost entirely on the contentious debate over redrawing legislative and congressional district boundaries. House Republicans were unhappy with the outcome of the legislative redistricting battle and filed a lawsuit in January challenging the constitutionality of newly drawn boundaries, claiming they favor Democrats. A Senate Democrat displaced in the redistricting process joined the lawsuit, which contends that the new legislative districts could have been better balanced by population and that they could have been drawn in a way would have required fewer splits in counties and precincts. In the ruling, Shepherd said he saw no need for the Republican-dominate d Senate to move the district of Democratic Sen. Kathy Stein of Lexington into northeastern Kentucky in a way that prevented her from seeking re-election in Lexington this year. He said the action “is neither ‘an absolute necessity’ nor ‘unavoidable.’” “It appears to be an arbitrary decision without a rational basis,” Shepherd wrote. Shepherd had issued a temporary restraining order last week that pushed the legislative filing deadline from Jan. 31 to the close of business on Tuesday. In the latest ruling, the judge granted a temporary injunc- April Ellis, the Herald’s general manager, said Higginbotham was awesome in her own right. “I was very impressed that she was able to come up with a great idea and then make it happen,” Ellis said. “It’s one thing to come up with an idea; it’s another thing to see it through. “And just the practicality of it. ose of us blessed with good jobs have heat in the house, but not everyone does. Blankets can make a big difference,” Ellis said. Project Keep’em Warm’s success that first year was repeated again in 2010 and 2011, creating and delivering more than 350 blankets each year. So far, Higginbotham’s efforts have helped raise more than $10,000 and distributed more than 1,000 blankets to kids around Mercer County. Higginbotham plans to attend the University of Kentucky to study biology with an interest in pharmacy, so the scholarship money from Prudential will come in handy. Even though she will have her hands full with college, she plans to keep Project Keep’em Warm going full steam. “It will take a lot of help tion requested by House Republicans and Stein to stop the secretary of state from planning elections around the new legislative districts. Redistricting occurs every 10 years to account for population changes reported in the U.S. Census. The latest count found that the state’s overall population grew from 4 million to 4.3 million from 2000 to 2010, forcing new legislative and congressional district boundaries to be drawn. At each level of government — state House, Senate and Congress — the districts must be of nearly equal size. The new legislative districts produced some oddly shaped boundaries. The 89th House District stretches from the Tennessee border in McCreary County, zigzags narrowly through Laurel County, then encompasses all of Jackson County for a geographic setup that one lawmaker said would require an airplane for travel. One Senate district stretches from Barbourville to Morehead. Kentucky is one of at least 25 states with pending court cases involving redistricting. A similar Kentucky lawsuit filed after the 1990 census established some of the case law that House Republicans reference in their challenge. from the community, but from what I’ve seen the past three years, I’m not worried,” she said. “It’s almost become a ritual now.” Come Home To Your Hometown Bank. 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