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Report: Lithuania Bans Sales of Energy Drinks to Minors

Selling energy drinks to individuals under 18 years old is punishable by a fine of up to 116 euros, AFP reported.

Lithuania on Saturday reportedly enacted a ban on sales of energy drinks to minors, the first country to do so.

"It's a revolutionary development the world over: we didn't find a single other country to have this kind of ban," health ministry official Almantas Kranauskas told Agence France-Presse (AFP). "Most countries only have recommendations. We are the first."

Parliament adopted a law in May that provides for a fine of up to 116 euros for selling energy drinks to individuals under the age of 18, AFP reported.

Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and 5-hour Energy have come under scrutiny in recent years. A number of reports have surfaced, linking the caffeine-laden products to deaths and various health ailments.

In the United States, local and state authorities from San Francisco to Vermont have questioned whether energy-drink firms have targeted minors and engaged in deceptive marketing.

Marketers of energy drinks have defended their products, saying they contain no more caffeine than a cup of coffee.

Critics have been unable to quell demand for the fast-growing category of conventional beverages and dietary supplements. On Thursday, Monster Beverage reported that gross sales in the third quarter rose 7.5 percent to $738.1 million from $686.6 million in the year-earlier period.

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