L.I. Lawmaker: Ban Energy Drinks For Those Under 19

Some Say Idea Is Another Example Of Government Interference

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBS 2/ WCBS 880) — They’re popular among teens and adults, but energy drinks are also unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

They are known to be overloaded with sugar, caffeine and other stimulants.

Experts say they’re dangerous; teens say they’re harmless.

“I use it for school, when I’m tired and I need energy,” Ashley Malave of Smithtown told CBS 2’s Derrick Dennis.

But energy’s one thing — a high school high is another.

Long Island legislator Lynne Nowick has introduced a bill in Suffolk County to ban the sale of energy drinks to teens under 19 — school age.

“These energy drinks can be very detrimental to young people,” said Nowick, a Republican.

Take Four Loko, for example. It is banned in several states, including New York, because of the potential danger of mixing so much caffeine with alcohol.

“We as government, we as adults, we as parents, we as school officials certainly have to try to educate,” Nowick said.

Andrew Silverman, and 18-year-old from Smithtown, said he prefers coffee in the winter months and energy drinks all summer long. He said they’re the same.

“Nineteen to buy energy drinks? That’s a joke, I think. That’s a joke,” Silverman said.

“I would say diet pills are a lot worse, you know what I mean? People will like pop diet pills to go to the gym. You don’t have to be 18 or 19 to buy those. But I can be freaking out on them, like oh, oh.”

We did find a few leftover cans of Four Loko on store shelves, but under this proposed law, all of these energy drinks would be outlawed, with a sign at the counter saying if you’re under 19, you can’t buy.

But convenience store owners like Victor Shah said the ban will be bad for business.

“Every penny counts, every energy drink. Make money you know?” said Victor Shah of S&V Convenience in Smithtown.

And some parents said it’s another example of government crossing the line, unnecessarily.

“Under 19 is 18,” said Michael Danziger of Nesconset. “An 18-year-old can serve in the armed forces. They can decide whether or not to drink an energy drink.”

“What I’m saying is you can smoke whatever your parents let you smoke and you can drink alcohol whenever your parents let you but what I’m trying to do is I’m not stopping anybody, particularly adults, from drinking this I’m banning the sale of energy drinks to minors,” Nowick told WCBS 880.

She also is sponsoring separate legislation calling for signs where energy drinks are sold alerting consumers to the health risks.

She said a public hearing on the proposal would be held later this month.

  • Becky

    I agree that you should be 18 to buy energy drinks. Have the energy drink you buy are bad for you and your body. Cause liver and heart problems. Those are great for kids (Not).

    • Lauri Crisp Smith

      That’s what parents are for! We don’t need elected officials telling our children what to do or not to do – unless of course parents no longer have to teach their children right from wrong!

  • Ace of Spades

    Just have some one buy you a case. They are not banning the consumption just the sale. So this bill makes no sense. Just government time and money wasted on this bill. Could have used that energy and focus on more serious matters. But what can we say about them any moron can be in government. Look at NYPD a ticket for throwing away a news paper. Ha! A joke i tell you.

    • Lauri Crisp Smith

      I concur!

  • paul

    By the way, I asked Republcians for help, they NEVER did; never even WROTE OR CALLED ME! NOT ONE!

  • Paul

    P.S. I helped during the Bush campaign as videographer years ago before my disability, and even was photographer, AND THE REPUBLICANS NEVER PAID ME when I was done!

  • PAUL

    Republicans always say “FREEDOM” and “GOVERNMENT SHOULD STAY OUT OF AMERICANS’ LIVES”, well, here we go again: HYPOCRITES! Republicans always say ONE THING and DO THE OPPOSITE! One energy drink was stopped, but NOW they want to make themselves look “God like” and “good”, so they push on to do what they want! Same with issues like Healthcare, etc. I have been a registered Republican for 32 YEARS! Helped the GOP for 3 decades! When I asked for help (RE: an immigrant who came to the USA, illegally, lied under oath: perjury, and abused our son and ME!, and had 4 children by 3 different fathers, YET UNDER REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION, she got her green card (citizenship), has a U.S. passport (flying all over the world), and I, BORN HERE!, CANNOT EVEN GET A U.S. PASSPORT, and was fired for my disability -partly caused by HER!- after 17 years with American Airlines! My father, who worked for Nassau County Police, was hit by a drunk woman, almost killed (2 parts broken in arm, 300 stitches in head) while she sustained only cut and bruise, SHE GETS 5000 dollars from the county and he gets only UNDER 5000 dollars from the county! UNDER A REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION! I have so many stories about Republicans! I asked for 1 favor from Republicans, RE: my situation with the ex immigrant wife, and the Republicans NEVER even replied after helping them for 30 years! YET Democrats asked me if they could help! And idiot Americans keep voting them in! My father and I on disablity cannot even get help, no one to listen to us, YET some how, some way, everybody else (immigrants, etc.) can get help! At least DEMS want to help! Remember next time at the voting booth who REALLY wants to help!

    • Lauri Crisp Smith


  • Veteran to keep freedom

    Just one more example of the government taking away personal freedoms. It is us parents job to influence our children not the government.

  • S N

    She is my new HEROINE!!! If you’d ever seen a child with Bipolar Disorder get ahold of one of those energy drinks, you’d understand!

    And tell me, what is the diffence between banning drinks with caffeine and alchol for minors, and banning cigarettes ?

    • Ed

      It ends with an abortion ban. If we want the government to ban abortions, way can’t they ban energy drinks.

    • Lauri Crisp Smith

      There is too much BANNING as it is! We are not robots we are people that made the mistake of electing PEOPLE to make decisions FOR us. How did the politicians get soooooo wise and we are suddenly all stupid? What are we a herd of sheep being led to slaughter by overzealous power mad politicians that feel ENTITLED to run our lives? It is not only our right but our duty to put a stop to this government interference in order to uphold the constitution of the United States of America. Enough is enough!

  • Harold

    What’s next? No fast food for kids?

    No video games for people under 8 years of age? Where does it end? What’s funny is the US, the world’s greatest nation and one who espouses freedom and liberty for it’s citizens, is slowly losing those very ideals.

    Even if energy drinks are bad for high schoolers, what gives you the right to tell me that?

    • Lauri Crisp Smith


  • 666EnergyDrink

    This is a very misguided move. They will have to ask for ID’s at Starbucks, which is crazy. What they should do is what we’ve done, which is take out toxic ingredients like taurine and guarana from the drinks. 666 Energy Drink has only caffeine and B-vitamins as the effective supplements.

    • Enrique

      guarana is toxic? that’s news to me..

      • enrique

        maybe guarana in extreme levels mixed with extreme levels of caffeine can be toxic, but saying that guarana is toxic is like saying sugar or salt is toxic, we should be careful with our language. Excessive amounts of salt and sugar can kill, how ridiculous would it be to tell people that they cannot buy products with high sodium or sugar? I think people just need to make better decisions, and as a culture we need to be more responsible with advertisement and education!

  • Wilson

    I must say what the hell is up with this country. It’s people like her that are making this country terrible. Isn’t 18 the voting age? I hope all those 18 year olds that she considers children vote her behind off.

  • J

    Sounds like a socialist move to me; where the government decides what’s best for the youth. Sure “I’m not stopping anybody” just the youth.

    • Simon

      You are ridiculous.

      • Lauri Crisp Smith

        What’s ridiculous about that comment? It’s the truth! Maybe you enjoy people telling you what to do!

  • Old Fogie

    When I was young, it was unusual to see anyone under 18 drinking coffee.

    • Lauri Crisp Smith

      That’s because our parents told us not to and we LISTENED to them. That’s the way it should be!

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