Lifestyle Economics

Banning sale of energy drinks to teenagers draconian & unnecessary


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IEA responds to news the Government is going to consult over energy drinks

Responding to the news that the Government will consult on banning the sale of energy drinks to children, Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

It is not clear what problem the Government is trying to tackle with this consultation. If the issue is the sugar in these drinks, then why isn’t the Government proposing a ban on the sale of sugary drinks to people under the age of 18? If the issue is caffeine then why isn’t the Government proposing a sale on coffee to people under the age of 18?

Banning 17 year olds from buying lemonade or coffee would strike most reasonable people as crazy, so what is so special about energy drinks? The amount of caffeine in these drinks is less than would be found in a standard cup of coffee. While there might be health or behavioural problems associated with very young children consuming caffeine, criminalising the sale to 16 and 17 year olds is unnecessary and draconian.

“Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has recently made an issue of energy drinks and it seems that the Government is once again dancing to his tune. The Prime Minister’s claim that energy drinks are cheaper than other soft drinks shows how little she knows about these products.
“This is proving to be a government that bans first and asks questions later.”
Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Nerissa Chesterfield, Communications Officer:[email protected] 020 7799 8920 or 07791 390 268

For more from the IEA on the sugar tax click here.

To download a copy of Killjoys: A Critique of Paternalism please click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.



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