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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Busch to stop making alcoholic energy drinks

Betsy Z. Russell Staff writer

Anheuser-Busch will stop making “alcohol energy” drinks that combine alcohol with high amounts of stimulants such as caffeine as part of a multistate settlement, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and attorneys general of 10 other states announced Thursday.

The attorneys general said the products, including “Tilt” and “Bud Extra,” were marketed to young people with slogans such as, “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 stop marketing the alcohol-energy products in all 50 states and to reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra without caffeine or other stimulants.

The attorneys general said such products taste and look like nonalcoholic energy drinks, and are popular with young people who believe – incorrectly – 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 – from Maine, Maryland, Connecticut, Arizona, California, Iowa, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Idaho – 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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