Albania considers ban on energy drinks to under-18s

Albania is trying to follow the UK’s recent legal initiative to impose a ban on energy drinks to anyone under the age of 18 and limit the advertising of sugar-sweetened beverages in similar measures to legislation in force protecting minors from the use of alcohol. The proposed legal changes target preventing negative health consequences related to the use of heavily caffeinated and sugared drinks amid growing concern that those beverages are having on minors even in Albania amid growing consumption. Albania is also trying to apply restrictions on the sale of energy drinks with more than 150 mg of caffeine per liter and curb the use of sugar-sweetened beverages in some amendments to a 2016 law protecting minors from the use of alcohol. Ruling Socialist Party MP, Erion Braçe, the initiator of the legal changes, says its high time Albania also decided to ban energy drinks to children and follow the UK government’s example. The proposed legal changes also envisage penalties ranging from 10,000 (€78) to 30,000 lek (€235) for businesses selling energy drinks or failing to advertise warning signs banning their sale for under 18s, in fines that also don’t spare adults accompanying minors drinking energy drinks in public spaces. Penalties on advertising of energy drinks or heavily sweetened beverages in public spaces are much heavier and punished with fines ranging from 100,000 (€784) to 200,000 lek (€1,570). Restrictions are also set for their promotion on visual media, schools, cinemas or theaters during youth shows the same to the law protecting minors from alcohol. Albania already bans sale of alcoholic drinks to minors aged under 18 and gambling for people aged below 21. Regardless, youngsters are one of the biggest alcohol consumers and frequent gamblers with thousands of electronic casinos and shopping centers scattered throughout the country even in downtown areas.

Source: Tirana Times 

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