New York City Health Department Wants All ‘Alcopops’ Banned

Pushing For All Flavored Malt Beverages To Be Prohibited

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You may have heard of “alcopops.” They’re carbonated fruit drinks with an alcoholic punch.

Kids are breaking the law to get their hands on them, but the New York City Health Department is stepping in to try to stop that from happening, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

They are sweet, fizzy and intoxicating. Though they’re made for adults, the city said Wednesday kids crave them.

“It’s like a fruity, summery … it doesn’t have that gross manly beer taste,” one young woman said.

“I mean, it’s sweet. It doesn’t really taste like alcohol,” another added.

That’s why the health department wants all alcopops banned.

“I think drinks should be served in bars only,” one young man said.

“I think they’re going a little bit far with that. I think if kids wanna drink they’re gonna drink anything,” another man added.

New York State Sen. Jeff Klein has already proposed a bill to stop the sale of alcopops containing more than 6 percent alcohol in convenience stores and delis, where underage drinkers commonly get their hands on them.

If passed, drinks like de-caffeinated Four Loko could only be purchased in liquor stores. But the health department wants to strengthen Klein’s bill to include all flavored malt beverages, including drinks like Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

“While some of these other very sweet flavored beverages have very low alcohol content, I want to make sure they don’t fall into the hands of minors,” State Sen. Klein said.

Some convenient store owners said alcopops are very popular with their customers, and that pulling them off the shelves would definitely hurt business.

“This is like summertime beer. If they really ban it. It’s going to hurt sales,” store owner Adam Alghaighy said.

Alghaighy said the focus should be on carding customers.

“I always ask ID for it. It’s not like a 12-year-old will come and I will sell it for him,” he said.

“You’re taking it away from all of those people who would like to drink it and are of age and enjoy it and I think that’s just wrong,” one woman said.

But many said, unfortunately, kids who want to drink will somehow find a way.

The caffeinated version of Four Loko was made illegal by the Food and Drug Administration last  November.

Do you think this is going too far? Do you think the Health Department should be applauded? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Hazel Sanchez
  • Shelby Jackson

    And what will they attempt to ban next? Carbonated fruit beverages with alcohol? Surely you jest! Hasn’t anyone ever heard of “wine coolers?” How long have they been around now? It doesn’t matter if a kid wants a beer or a kid wants an “alcopop.” If they want it, they’ll figure out a way to get it whether it be sold at a convenience store, grocery store, or liquor store.

  • kodi98

    I really thought I was going to read an article about a lollipop with alcohol in it. I should have realized that this was from up north where you all call it pop, not soda.

  • The Facts

    More from the liberals of the nanny state.

  • NYC

    If kids want alcoholic beverage it doesn’t have to be alcopops. Kids are already drinking other alcoholic drinks besides alcopops. Once alcopops is taken off the shelves kids will have a new favorite alcoholic beverages in trend. Unless you could control all alcoholic beverages from reaching the kids, banning alcopops is not really making any difference.

  • EPK

    Just do the ID check, that is why it is there. Will they ban tobacco products too, because the minors get that too?

  • Lindsay Coley

    Meanwhile 18-20 year old LEGAL ADULTS are voting, buying cars, houses, traveling, establishing businesses, making MILLIONS of dollars, being sentenced to DEATH, and so and so forth but they cant but a f*cking alcoholic drink lest they go to JAIL.

    BTW if this passed in my home state I would NEVER step into another gas station to get booze again because unflavored beer is disgusting. Also, I’ve been drinking since I was 18 and I’m 23 now. I’m still alive and still responsible as ever.


    • hp

      Don’t forget serving our country as well.

  • hp

    I swear that many adults these days don’t remember being teens and the lengths they would do to get their hands on alcohol. I have not been a teen for 24 years, but I still remember paying adults to buy booze, fake ID’s and having older friends who were legal age buy it. Taking it out of stores will in no way slow down teens who want to get their hands on it. Go after shops that sell illegally rather than penalize those who follow the laws. We have taken personal responsibility out of the equation all to often these days. No happy meals for kids, because they are fat, blame the parents but don’t take away my right to give my child the occasional kids meal because some other parent refuses to properly feed their child. No trans fats, no this, no that, all under the guise of “protecting” the citizen. I am not surprised to see that it is yet another Democrat who wants to take away something. The very same people who yell about personal liberties when it comes to certain situations want to yank them away in others.

    • Phil

      Back in my day it was Spanada wine, or Ripple, or Annie Green Springs. These “alcopops” are nothing new.

      • hp

        Exactly. We had Cold Duck, Bartles and Jaymes and Lancers Wine.

  • NewEnglandPat

    How about enforcing the existing laws to prevent kids from buying alcohol or prosecuting adults who buy it for them? It’s crazy to take a legal product that some adults obviously enjoy (and pay taxes on) off of the shelves because “kids” might get their hands on it sometimes. If they want it, they will get it – just like they do pot and oxys and any of a dozen other substances.

  • MIKE


    • Dave

      It’s been sold in stores for over 10 years.

  • CSI

    They nee to focus on drugs and not alcohol. There are more kids out there smoking marijuana then they are drinking. More of them drinking hard liquor. NYC needs to get a clue.

    • GetaClue

      Id rather have my kids smoke marijuana then drink alchohol

    • SillyLiberals

      And also the enforcement of drug laws cause the erosion of YOUR FREEDOMS and a semi police state. and more kids jailed for smoking a plant

    • k.m.

      Oh forget about drugs. It was always easier to get weed in high school than alcohol because the entire drug system is underground regardless of your age. Alcohol involved middle-men or fakes.

  • Michael H.

    If kids can’t get their hands on the “alcopops” they’re just going to do what we did when we were kids: Drink 40s of Old English or Colt 45.

  • D

    The most common thing kids under the legal drinking age do is find someone old enough to buy it for them….and that is almost impossible to prevent or prove….

  • beard

    this is so dumb…

  • Danno

    Finally the city doing something worthwhile.

  • cat

    If they want the drink, they will get it no matter where you sell it.

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