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New research that shows that young people are attracted to alcoholic energy drinks because they allow them to keep drinking for longer periods adds weight to the AMA’s push for a ban on energy drinks, especially pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks.

AMA Vice President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the research from the University of Wollongong Centre for Health Initiatives shows that a significant proportion of 12-to-17-year-olds are more likely to drink alcoholic drinks if they contain caffeine or guarana.

“This is especially alarming because these products are becoming popular with under age-drinkers, some as young as 12,” Dr Hambleton said.

“These kids are making the jump from energy soft drinks to alcoholic energy drinks.

“It is irresponsible and dangerous for the alcohol industry to make and market alcoholic products that are particularly attractive to young people, including those barely in their teens.

“The industry is using marketing tactics that put the health and lives of young Australians at greater risk.

“Consuming a stimulant along with alcohol only reduces the ‘feeling’ of being drunk, but the physical and mental impairments that alcohol causes remain the same.

“A reduced feeling of being drunk can lead to increased risk-taking among teenagers, and greater potential harms.

“The younger that people start drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to become problematic drinkers later in life.

“Pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks should be banned,” Dr Hambleton said.

The AMA’s youth health brochure, Alcohol and Your Health: Make Informed Choices, can be found on the AMA website .

Australian Medical Association


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