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Lithuania: Energy drinks banned for sale to minors

Date: 16 May 2014

Red Bull and Monster Energy Drinks

The government in Lithuania has announced a ban on the sale of caffeine energy drinks to people under the age of 18. The move marks a first within the EU, and Lithuania predicted that others would now follow suit.

The ban represents a potential serious challenge to the energy drinks companies such as Red Bull and Monster, which achieve significant levels of sales to younger people.

It comes as governments worldwide have been expressing concerns over the health impacts of the drinks. Whilst Lithuania alone will make little impact in light of its total population of only 3 million, if it were to become a wider EU trend it could be a great deal more significant.

Industry representatives have responded by saying that the amount of caffeine in standard energy drinks is less than that which can be found in a cup of coffee - which has no such restrictions. Also, it points out that the packaging of energy drinks in the EU discourage consumption by youngsters.

But elsewhere, for instance in the US, the companies have been accused of targeting marketing at precisely this age group.

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