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Assembly Bans Caffeine-Fueled Alcoholic Drinks

Assembly Bans Caffeine-Fueled Alcoholic Drinks

— The California Assembly has voted to ban the drinks known as "blackout in a can." Caffeinated alcoholic beverages are especially popular among college kids.

The beverages are sold in colorful cans just like regular energy drinks. But a 23-ounce serving contains nearly as much alcohol as five beers, and as much caffeine as two cups of coffee.

Dr. Shawn Evans is chief-of-staff elect at Scripps Mercy Hospital in La Jolla. He said alcohol and caffeine are a dangerous mix for young people.

"In many cases you have a wide-awake drunk," Evans pointed out. "It has been shown in studies that they'll stay at a table longer. So these are folks who will drink more, who are wide awake and drinking, and ultimately can confuse themselves into thinking they're more alert than they really are."

At least six states and several college campuses have banned the drinks, which have been linked to blackouts and alcohol poisonings. A bill to prohibit the products in California will head to the governor's desk soon.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned the makers of Four Loko and three other major brands of malt liquor beverages that caffeine is an unsafe food additive.

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