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Moreover, too much caffeine can be bad for you. While every individual has a different tolerance for the drug, experts agree that ingesting more than 500 mg a day can result in anxiety, irritability, headaches, sleeplessness, diarrhea and other health problems. In some cases, it can cause abnormal heart rhythms, which can be dangerous for people with cardiac conditions.

According to Dr. Mary Claire O’Brien, an associate professor at Wake Forest’s Baptist Medical Center, the medical community is concerned about increasing caffeine consumption among children and adolescents, particularly via energy drinks. A report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that emergency room visits related to adverse reactions to energy drinks increased tenfold from 2005 to 2009. (A caveat: 44 percent of the visits involved patients combining energy drinks with drugs or alcohol.)

A 2011 report from the American Academy of Pediatrics said that energy drinks have “no place in the diet” of children.

“If you suggested putting an espresso machine in a middle school, people would think you are out of your mind,” said Dr. O’Brien, who is on the editorial board of the Journal of Caffeine Research. “But people don’t think twice about them consuming energy drinks and soft drinks.

“There is concern about caffeine being a stimulant, and that it’s not clear what the long-term effects of high levels of caffeine on the pediatric and adolescent brain will be. The human brain is not effectively hard-wired until the age of 25.”

Echoing Mr. Schumer’s concern about the AeroShot’s potential use as a party drug, the University of New Hampshire considered banning on-campus energy drink sales this year, fearing students were mixing the drinks with alcohol. In the face of student displeasure, however, school administrators backed down.

Mr. Weinberg said some things never change.

“There’s been a constant back and forth over this since the beginning, a moral panic,” he said. “It goes back to the beginning. When the first coffee shops opened in Yemen [in the early 1500s], they were banned. Right away. And then the Sultan of Cairo overturned that ban.”

Of course he did. Almost 500 years before the introduction of the caffeine inhaler, the sultan had something in common with contemporary Americans. He was a coffee drinker. He needed his fix.