On social media, young people share a party trend that doctors warn against: tactical throwing up. Drink, throw up, keep drinking. You risk cancer.
“My name is Lea and I think Letizia will throw up today,” says a teenager in a video published on TikTok. Adriana and Fiona also appreciate that Letizia is throwing up today. Marco guesses Lia, Elid guesses Lio. The resolution follows at the end of the video: A young woman crouches in front of a toilet with the lid up. The viewers do not know your name. Those involved know him. “We all lost,” reads the screen. “That was the first person who threw up.” One gave the camera a thumbs-up.
Similar to this group of friends, teens share their vomiting experiences on social media. Some go too far, experts warn: “tactical throwing up” or “interpump” is the name of the party trick with which young people want to drink more alcohol after throwing up in the meantime. You stick your finger down your throat and down the next beer.
“It’s a tactical decision, not an easy one, but the right one,” writes a TikTok user under a video, explaining that he wants to reduce his hangover through tactical puking. “Finally someone who does the same thing,” replies another user. “My younger colleagues don’t understand how I can always be so fit on Mondays.”
Some young people who hear about these tactics are confused: “Is there really anything to be gained from throwing up tactically while drinking?” asks a participant in the Gutefrage help portal. “Does it help if you puke briefly to be able to consume more alcohol?” Others inquire about possible health risks.
Young people should actually fear damage to their health, says addiction expert Dr. Siegfried Fritzsche der Bild: “This type of drinking is very dangerous!” Anyone who throws up four times a month – that is, once a week – risks cancer. The vomited mixture of alcohol, stomach acid and leftover food inflames the esophagus. Sometimes they tear, which can lead to the development of what is known as Barrett’s syndrome, a precursor to cancer. Fritzsche strongly advises young people not to vomit frequently.
However, the trend is not really new, as other posts in social media prove: A drunk man standing in the forest boasts in a video from 2010 that he found a tactically particularly valuable time for his vomiting. For decades, students have been conducting so-called beer athlons, in which they run a certain distance as quickly as possible while emptying a crate of beer. Tactical puking is one of the basic strategies.
None of this mitigates the health consequences of frequent vomiting. Young people in particular, who want to use their esophagus for decades to come, shouldn’t ruin themselves just to down more drinks and end up being just as drunk as they were without vomiting, experts emphasize. They hope tactical throwing up will soon disappear entirely from young people’s parlance.