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Youth and Community Groups Commend Rockstar for Taking 'The Buzz' out of its Energy Drinks
Date:11/12/2007

t party drink because you can party harder and longer. With caffeine, ginseng, and guarana, these alcoholic energy drinks are enormously popular with teens and young adults alike because they build on the popularity of nonalcoholic energy drinks that have similar packaging. Marketers also use youth-oriented advertising themes, extreme sports sponsorships, and Internet sites popular with teens.

"These drinks taste very similar to each other. Most adults we have found can't tell which have alcohol in them," said Kellie Goodwin of the California Youth Council. Goodwin and other teens gave law enforcement officers and teachers energy drinks, some with alcohol some without, to see whether they could tell the difference. "On top of that, the alcohol industry labeling practices make it too hard to tell the difference between drinks that contain alcohol and those that don't. It's not surprising some parents are accidentally purchasing these items for their kids."

Researchers at Wake Forest University, Baptist Medical Center, found that college students who combine energy drinks with alcohol are more likely to drink excessively, get hurt, ride with a driver who is drunk, and sexually assault someone else. Additionally, according to a report from The Marin Institute (http://www.marininstitute.org) 31 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds and 34 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds report regular consumption of energy drinks. "Alcohol problems among youth constitute a public health and safety crisis of major proportions. Alcohol in energy drinks creates a dangerous mix," said Michele Simon, JD, MPH, research and policy and director at the Main Institute and co-author of the report.

"As young people, we congratulate Rockstar for voluntarily pulling energy drinks with alcohol off the shelves," Kellie Goodwin said. "Other companies, like Anheuser-Busch, should follow Rock Star's lead. Our future depends on it." Please
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SOURCE California Coalition on Alcopops and Youth
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