Kiwi start-ups hoping to get a rise out of oxygen bottles
TWO Auckland-based start-ups have taken a deep breath and started selling recreational oxygen.
Despite there being no medical evidence that huffing a high concentration of oxygen has any benefits, the global market is expected to be worth $3 billion by 2023.
Entrepreneur Leslie Crawford decided to bring recreational oxygen to New Zealand at the beginning of the year after discovering it at a US ski resort.
The mother-of-five started selling bottles under the name Oxygen Please, and competitors Boost Oxygen have followed her into the market.
But Kyle Perrin, a respiratory physician at Wellington hospital, said oxygen provides a temporary hit or a placebo effect at best.
Perrin, who did his PhD on the effects of high concentrations of oxygen in respiratory disease, said that at most, users may get a temporary hit or have a placebo effect of feeling better.
He likened the market to bottled water.
‘‘Even bottled water is no better from a health perspective than tap water – and I think everyone knows that – but it doesn’t stop them from buying a well-packaged bottle of water.’’