A Tilgate councillor has written a public letter giving credit to a supermarket chain for banning high-caffeine energy drinks to under 16s and calling for other supermarkets to follow.
Tilgate councillor Francis Guidera was encouraged by a stand taken by Waitrose but wants other supermarkets to do the same. He wrote the following letter:
“Credit to Waitrose for taking the decision to ban the sale of high-caffeine energy drinks to under 16s. Regulation is needed.
Research shows drinking just two cans raises risk of cardiac arrest by 20 percent in children with an undiagnosed arrhythmia.
Let me re-emphasise that point… just two cans of this stuff can trigger a heart attack!
As someone who suffered with episodes of cardiac arrhythmia throughout my childhood, only to be diagnosed in 2012 with Wolf Parkinson White syndrome or “supraventricular tachycardia”, and knowing what it’s like to lie in a bed wired up to an ecg in Crawley walk-in centre with my heart racing at 187bpm, my legs and arms going cold, family watching helplessly as we were told by a very stern faced doctor that my situation was “not good” and that they’d called an ambulance, I can only say thank God there was no such thing as ‘energy drinks’ when I was a kid or I literally might not be alive today.
The sale of so-called energy drinks should be banned to anybody under the age of 16 and ID should be required. There is no question that they are dangerous to people who don’t even know they are in danger.
I urge Asda, Sainsbury’s Tesco’s, Co-Op and Morrison’s to follow suit. The retailers have the power to force energy drink providers to change their caffeine content and most big retailers sell their own brand of energy drinks which they have control over too.
Enough is enough.
I’ve witnessed children who look no older than 12 years old buying them in shops on their way to school and older teens on their lunch breaks, in Tilgate. When teachers are begging retailers to stop selling children these drinks because they cause behavioural issues in the classroom you know there is a problem.
I will be writing to our Member of Parliament, Henry Smith, asking him to urge our government to introduce regulation. Other countries have already done so. It’s time we did too.”
Cllr Francis Guidera Councillor for Tilgate
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