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Alcopops Cheaper Than Energy Drinks: 7-11 Gambles With Children's Lives

Source:  Alcohol Justice

Summary:

Alcopops, legally identified as “flavored malt beverages,” are sweet, bubbly high alcohol products that are packaged and marketed to appeal to youth. They are used by the alcohol industry as a transition beverage from soda and non-alcoholic energy drinks to hook youth on alcohol and secure customers for life. Supersized alcopops, available in single servings with up to 12% alcohol by volume, encourage excessive drinking and are available at convenience stores frequented by youth throughout the nation.

In Marin County in Northern California we surveyed the prices of supersized alcopops at popular 7-Eleven stores in Marin and found that supersized alcopops were being offered at a promotional price break, priced cheaper than non-alcoholic energy drinks, and priced cheaper per standard drink than beer and even malt liquor.

Excessive alcohol consumption is a substantial problem in Marin County, and alcohol is the most widely used drug among the county’s youth. Although alcohol producers should ultimately be held accountable for the harm their products cause, alcopop retailers such as 7-Eleven, Inc. and its local franchisees bear responsibility for selling harmful products to their communities.

Because numerous attempts by federal and state regulators to address the alcopops problem have been thwarted by the alcohol industry, Alcohol Justice has turned to local, direct action as the only way to protect communities from these dangerous products. Along with Marin County community groups, public health dvocates, youth and residents,

Alcohol Justice is building a community coalition for an Alcopop-Free ZoneTM (AFZ), a campaign asking retailers to voluntarily stop selling alcopops.

Recommendations:

1) Community residents, led by youth and parents, should make their concerns about alcopops known to the Uppal and Singh families who operate 7-Eleven franchises in Marin County, and all other storeowners who sell alcopops in the area.

2) Counties and cities should put conditions on land use to protect the health and safety of youth. Specifically, officials (police, sheriff, land use and planning) should ask for restrictions on all single-serving alcopops and malt liquor sales as conditions for ABC licenses, and as conditions on use permits.

3) Retailers should voluntarily cease purchasing, selling and marketing of alcopops. We encourage Marin municipalities and policymakers to pass resolutions in support of the Alcopop-Free ZoneTM Marin.

4) Youth and public health groups throughout the United States should consider forming Alcopop-Free ZoneTM coalitions and demand that retailers stop selling the most youth- attractive drinks, alcopops.

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