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Labour pledges to ban sale of strong energy drinks to under 16s

Energy drinks brighter

The UK Labour Party has announced its ambition to ban “dangerously high caffeinated energy drinks” containing over 150mg of caffeine per litre from being sold in shops and online to under 16s.

If implemented, the ban, which forms part of Labour’s Child Health Action Plan, would mean that retailers could no longer sell the likes of Red Bull, Monster, Irn-Bru’s PWR-bru or Lucozade Alert to under-16s.

While many convenience stores have already implemented voluntary bans on the sale of energy drinks to under-16s, it has not been legislated thus far.

In May last year, the Minister for Public Health and Women’s Health announced that, following a consultation, the Scottish Government would not seek to pursue mandatory measures to restrict the sale of energy drinks to children and young people at that time.

An Energy Drinks Evidence Brief published by Scottish Government in May 2023 noted that “based on the best available data, the indications are that energy drink consumption at a population level in children and young people in the UK is relatively low, although there is reasonable evidence of a sub-group of high chronic or high acute users”.

The brief added that, based on the best available data, there was considerable evidence to show that consumption of caffeinated energy drinks is associated with a range of adverse physical and mental effects, as well as possibly poorer school achievement and attendance.

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This publication contains images and information relating to tobacco products. Please do not view if you are under the age of 18 years old.