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Doctor says energy drink bill is 'responsible'

Red Bull energy drink

Red Bull energy drink (Credit: Newsday/Sune Woods)

Minors in Suffolk County would be prohibited from buying nonalcoholic energy drinks if a bill introduced in the legislature on Tuesday is eventually passed. Read full story here

The proposal, the first of its kind in New York, would make it illegal for store owners to sell energy drinks to anyone under the age of 19, said Legis. Lynne Nowick (R-St. James), sponsor of the legislation.

Dr. Hector Sepulveda, an associate clinical professor in the department of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University, called the bill "a responsible way for us, as adults, to take care of our future leaders and our youths while they still don't understand what they are doing to their bodies." 

Nowick said she has worked with doctors and researchers in the medical field for years, including Sepulveda, to determine the health risks associated with energy drinks.

Sepulveda said the high levels of caffeine in the drinks pose direct risks for someone with a heart problem. In many cases, Sepulveda said, people may not even be aware that they have a heart condition.

Though Sepulveda said there are no official studies that have been done, even people without other health problems could do damage to their systems if they consume the drinks over a long period of time.

Nowick is also sponsoring separate legislation that calls for signs where energy drinks are sold alerting consumers to the health risks.

The measures are expected to go through legislative committees in January.

Tags: Suffolk , Lynne Nowick , energy drinks , ban

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