Alcosynth’s could do for alcohol what vaping has done for tobacco according to research advisors and a former UK drugs policy advisor.

Chemicals currently being developed can reproduce the short-term effects of drinking without negative effects such as hangovers and longer-term health issues, according to Fran Willhelm, a senior business development manager at research consultants, Ayming.

Willhelm told RN: “The goal is for alcosynths to be thought of in the same way as sugar or tobacco alternatives.”

Former UK drugs advisor Professor Nutt is the Chief Scientific Officer of London based alcosynth developers, Alcarelle. He predicts that the first alcosynth products will become available to shop owners to stock in ‘three to five years.’

The Ayming senior staffer agreed, stating: “It’s becoming more credible that alcosynth could be a major disruptor in the beverage market.”

Nutt argues that synthetic alcohol replacements could reduce the occurrence of more than 60 diseases and 1.1million hospital visits linked to alcohol consumption, but there’s still a lot of steps in the path of the products reaching the public. “There’s a vast amount of research and testing that needs to happen before these are accepted by regulatory authorities. This research will also cost a great deal of money so the product needs significant financial backing,” he said.

Luckily, alcohol manufacturers are already on the lookout for ways to reach the increasing number of people who are teetotal for health reasons.  Diageo-backed Distill Ventures invested in alcohol-free spirits back in 2015 and most mnajor brewers now have an alcohol-free variant.

Read more: How to get your alcohol sales right