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Energy drinks take a hit in Lithuania

Sales of energy drinks in Lithuania, including those manufactured by Austrian company Red Bull, could take a hit after the country becomes one of the first to ban the sale of such drinks to young people.

The move comes amid concerns about the level of caffeine included in energy drinks which could cause health issues, including heart problems. The drinks have also been linked by some researchers to increased use of alcohol and drugs among young people.

Studies have also shown that young people are more likely to buy the drinks - research carried out in 2013 by the European Food Safety Authority found that 68% of Europeans aged 10 to 18 years old drink them.

Now the Lithuanian government say they have become the first country to take 'concrete action' against the consumption of these drinks by adolescents, having passed a law banning the sales to young people with an overwhelming majority.

They have ruled that drinks with 150 milligrams of caffeine per litre are not allowed to be sold to young people or to people buying on behalf of minors.

Sales of energy drinks in Lithuania, which has a population of 3 million, rose by 37% between 2011 and 2013 and it is not clear yet just how this new legislation will impact on overall sales in the coming years.

Analysts say that manufacturers are unlikely to be hit significantly as a result but the legislation may act as a catalyst for other countries to consider making changes to energy drinks legislation.

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