BALTIMORE (June 26, 2008) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that 10 states, including Maryland, have reached an agreement with Anheuser-Busch that will result in the nationwide discontinuance of two popular pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks, Tilt and Bud Extra. As part of the agreement, Anheuser-Busch will not produce any caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future.
"These amped-up-alcopops taste and look like popular non-alcoholic energy drinks and are popular with young people who often form the wrong belief that the caffeine in the drinks will counteract the intoxicating effects of the alcohol," said Attorney General Gansler, incoming chair of the National Association of Attorneys General's Youth Access to Alcohol Committee. "This agreement is a monumental win for our nation's young people who are lured by marketing into believing these products are safe."
These marketing claims coupled with published research about the dangers of these products led Attorneys General to initiate an investigation into the content and marketing of Anheuser-Busch products Tilt and Bud Extra. The investigations were launched pursuant to state consumer protection and trade practice statutes and alleged, among other things, that Anheuser-Busch made express and implied false or misleading health-related statements about the energizing effects of Tilt and Bud Extra.
While Anheuser-Busch denied claims made by the Attorneys General, it cooperated with the investigation and promptly decided to reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra without caffeine or other stimulants and to agree not to produce any other caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future.
Attorneys General emphasized that young people aren't drinking just one or two of these alcoholic energy drinks - these products are intended to be consumed several times throughout a night of partying and to be used as a mixer for other alcoholic beverages. A recently published study by Dr. Mary Claire O'Brien of Wake Forest University found that college students who mix alcohol and energy drinks engage in increased heavy episodic drinking and have twice as many episodes of weekly drunkenness. College students who reported consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks also had significantly higher prevalence of alcohol-related consequences, like sexual assault and injury.
The states who are parties to today's agreement including Maryland are: Arizona, Iowa, Maine, New York, California, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, Ohio and Connecticut.
Source: Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler