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Chicago Alderman Considers Energy Drink Ban

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 5

    A Chicago alderman wants to make it illegal to sell energy drinks within city limits to anyone under age 21 following reports of 13 deaths possibly linked to "energy shots."

    Ald. George Cardenas (12th) told the Chicago Sun-Times a proposed ban would draw more attention to a growing problem that could put children at risk. 

    Cardenas, also the chairman of the city council's health committee, is calling for health experts to testify about the drinks. He said if experts find that young people are more susceptible to the stimulants in the drinks, it's up to the City Council to act.

    The Federal Drug Administration said it is investigating the reported deaths as well as the effects of energy drinks and shots.

    "Under the right or wrong circumstances, certain people with these conditions might have provocation of arrhythmias that could be dangerous in association with a high dose of caffeine," Dr. Alfred Buxton of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told NBC News.

    The labels don't divulge how much caffeine are in the drinks but one creator insists it's the same as a cup of premium coffee.

    "Caffeine is not a bad thing except in very large quantities," 5-Hour Energy inventor Manoj Bhargava told NBC News. "It's actually helpful in a lot of areas." 

    This isn't the first time aldermen have introduced bans to the City Council. The council banned the sale of crib bumpers last fall via an ordinance sponsored by Ald. James Balcer (11th) and Ald. George Cardenas (12th).