For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: June 26, 2008
Anheuser-Busch Agrees to Stop Making “Alcohol Energy” Drinks
(Boise) – Anheuser-Busch will stop making alcohol drinks containing caffeine or other stimulants, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. In a legal settlement with Wasden and the attorneys general of 10 other states, Anheuser-Busch also agreed that it will reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra, two popular “alcohol energy” drinks.
Attorney General Wasden praised Anheuser-Busch for being a responsible industry leader and for eliminating all caffeinated alcohol beverages from its product list. Wasden also called on other manufactures to take similar steps to remove these potentially dangerous beverages from the market.
Alcohol energy drinks taste and look like non-alcoholic energy drinks. They are popular with young people, who often believe, incorrectly, that the caffeine in the drinks will counteract the intoxicating effects of the alcohol.
“The stimulants in these beverages mask the effects of the alcohol,” Attorney General Wasden said. “As a result, the consumer feels alert and, although impaired by alcohol, does not perceive that he or she is impaired. Obviously, this creates a highly dangerous situation. I appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s willingness to address our concerns directly and be a responsible leader in its marketing efforts.”
Attorneys general are concerned that these incorrect beliefs are fueled by aggressive marketing campaigns that promise endless nights of fun and enhanced abilities. For example, Anheuser-Busch promoted Bud Extra with the slogan “You can sleep when you’re 30.”
The marketing campaigns and published research about the dangers of these products led the attorneys general to investigate the content and marketing of Tilt and Bud Extra.
While Anheuser-Busch denied claims made by the attorneys general, it cooperated with the investigation and promptly decided to reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra without caffeine or other stimulants.
A recently published study by Dr. Mary Clair O’Brien of Wake Forest University found that college students who mix alcohol and energy drinks engage in increased heavy episodic drinking and have twice as many episodes of weekly drunkenness. College students who reported consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks also had significantly higher prevalence of alcohol-related consequences, such as sexual assault and injury.
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