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Eye On Boise

Thu., June 26, 2008, 10:46 a.m.

AG’s get Anheuser-Busch to back off product

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has joined with attorneys general of 10 other states to announce a legal settlement in which Anheuser-Busch will stop making “alcohol energy” drinks that combine alcohol with high amounts of stimulants like caffeine. The attorneys general said the products, including “Tilt” and “Bud Extra,” were being heavily marketed to young people with slogans like, “You can sleep when you’re 30.”

“The stimulants in these beverages mask the effects of the alcohol,” Wasden said. “As a result, the consumer feels alert and, although impaired by alcohol, does not perceive that he or she is impaired. Obviously, this creates a highly dangerous situation. I appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s willingness to address our concerns directly and be a responsible leader in its marketing efforts.”

The company agreed to reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra without caffeine or other stimulants, and to stop marketing alcoholic energy drinks in all 50 states. The AG’s said such products taste and look like non-alcoholic energy drinks, and are popular with young people who incorrectly believe that the caffeine in the drinks will counteract the intoxicating effects of the alcohol. A recent study by Wake Forest University found heavier drinking and more sexual assault and injury among college students who mixed alcohol and energy drinks. The attorneys general called on other companies that manufacture similar products to follow Anheuser-Busch’s lead. Said Wasden, “The decision to stop marketing these beverages is a decision that demonstrates a concern for the public good.”

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.