Youth rally for ban on Alcoholic Energy Drinks in California

'Don't Be Fooled – These Drinks are Dangerous!'

Support Passage of AB 1598 to Ban AEDs in California

The following was released today by the Marin Institute:

What: April 1, 2010 - Youth vs. AEDs - Day of Action

Where & When:

Popular Market

951 Park Blvd.,

San Diego, CA  92101

Action time: 12 p.m.

Local Contact:  Paul Sebastian Vancea (619) 488-7102

District Office of Assembly Member Fiona Ma

455 Golden Gate Ave.,

San Francisco, CA  94102

Action time: 12:30 p.m.

Local Contact:  Matt Rosen  (415) 342-1267

Various Liquor Stores

Mission District, San Francisco, CA

Action time:  3-5 p.m.

Local Contact:  Kali Cheung (650) 380-8132

7-11 Convenience Store

80 Medway Road,

San Rafael, CA  94901

Action time: 6:15 p.m.

Local Contacts:  Alexis Rodriguez (415) 524-9413

Ericka Ayala (415) 261-1237


  • San Diego Youth Council (bill co-sponsor)
  • Youth Leadership Institute (bill co-sponsor)
  • California Council on Alcohol Problems (bill co-sponsor)
  • Canal Alliance
  • Friday Night Live Youth Council
  • Marin Institute (bill co-sponsor)

To advocate for the passage of AB 1598 Authored by Assembly Member Jim Beall (D-San Jose), the measure will prohibit the import, production, manufacture, distribution, or sale of caffeinated malt beverages (Alcoholic Energy Drinks – AEDs) in California.  

The American Medical Association has advocated for a ban on beverages that contain alcohol and caffeine and other additives to produce alcoholic energy drinks that have special appeal to youths under the age of 21 years of age.  

AED producers add stimulants such as caffeine and guarana to malt beverages to create these potent and dangerous alcopops. AEDs often contain substantially higher levels of caffeine than coffee. These stimulants mask the true effects of alcohol, which can lead to increased risk-taking by the drinker.

Medical research has shown that those who consumed AEDs drank more alcohol, and got drunk more often. They were also twice as likely to experience alcohol-related harm such as:

  • Being hurt or injured
  • Requiring medical treatment
  • Riding with an intoxicated driver
  • Being taken advantage of sexually
  • Taking advantage of someone else sexually
To help legislators understand the astronomical annual $38.4 billion dollar cost of alcohol-related harm in California and the danger that youth-attractive AED products represent.   In 2008, a group of investigating attorneys general (including the California Attorney General and the San Francisco City Attorney) reached an agreement with MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev that required the companies to reformulate their AED brands, remove stimulants, and never again make this type of product.

Now a number of smaller producers have rushed in to take advantage of the opportunity to market their new AED brands.  Since AEDs such as Joose and Four Loko contain as much as 12% alcohol in one 23.5 ounce-can (the equivalent of five standard drinks) many of them are even more dangerous than the products that were voluntarily taken off the market.  

To convince California legislators that protecting youth from the producers of AEDs and the harm these products cause is good public health policy for California that will save lives and reduce alcohol-related injuries in the state.

AB 1598 will be up heard in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee on April 7, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.


Marin Institute


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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