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April 18, 1977

Availability of Volatile Nitrites

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1977;237(16):1693. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270430035013

To the Editor.—  I read with interest Dr Louria's response to an inquiry regarding the hazards of sniffing amyl nitrite during sexual intercourse in the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section of The Journal (236:1622,1976). I would like to offer the following additional information, which I believe is pertinent to the question.The health community seems generally unaware, as attested to by the paucity of published information on the subject (Norman Kramer, The Advocate, June 30, 1976, p 22),1,2 that the use of volatile nitrites is already extensive, notably among gay (homosexual) men. Significantly, the bulk of these nitrites are, in fact, of the "street" variety mentioned by Dr Louria as a potential concern for the future.In an effort to circumvent state and federal drug laws, these dramatically proliferating nitrite products are being heavily promoted (primarily in the alternative lay press) as "aromas" for the enhancement of sexual pleasures. Marketed