Banning sale of energy drinks to minors?
The recent death of a 14-year-old girl in the U.S. who consumed large amounts of an energy drink has relaunched the debate over the regulation of the bubbly caffeinated libations.
The Quebec Association for Public Health said the government should ban the sale of energy drinks to those under 18 because of the potential health risks.
Spokesperson for the lobby group Émilie Dansereau-Trahan said the aggressive marketing towards teens is also dangerous.
"Those energy drinks are sold as if they were regular drinks like juice or soft drinks but they're not the same," Dansereau-Trahan said.
The Association of Soft Drink Bottlers of Quebec argued there are warnings on the cans and as well as by Health Canada. Dansereau-Trahan said that's not enough.
"Do you know a lot of parents who would go on the Health Canada website to see what are the recommendations (on) what to teach their child and stuff like that? I don't think so," Dansereau-Trahan said.
"If you buy it just next to orange juice or Coke or something like that, you don't think there's something wrong with them so you will not turn the drink around to see what's written on them."
Soft drink industry officials in Quebec also argue there's more caffeine in coffee and tea.
"Starbucks and Second Cup, they don't do their marketing to kids," Dansereau-Trahan countered.
Of the 43% of youths in Quebec who have consumed energy drinks, just over 17% drink them every month.