More Shropshire stores ban energy drinks for under-16s
More convenience stores in Shropshire have signed up to a campaign to stop selling energy drinks to under 16s.
One shop owner says that the caffeine drinks are not only fuelling a future diabetes epidemic but they are also getting children addicted to caffeine.
West Place Stores in Gobowen, along with Premier Stores in Whittington and Weston Rhyn Stores are the latest shops to join a voluntary ban on selling to young people.
Last week three outlets in St Martins agreed to support the campaign, which was started by Keith Allum, who helps to run a youth club in the village.
Mr Allum said: “We banned energy drinks here at the youth centre before Christmas and since we’ve banned them we’ve noticed a big difference in their behaviour. The businesses aren’t losing out either as the kids are just buying other drinks instead of energy drinks."
Vikki Evison, from West Place Stores, said she was pleased the campaign was running.
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"Some years ago we decided in our shop not to sell these energy drinks to primary school children," she said.
"We are facing a diabetes explosion among our young people and the more we can do to prevent this the better.
"But I am also worried about the effect that caffeine drinks are having on young people. I have noticed that teenagers might come in and buy one of the drinks. But over time they seem to become immune to the effect of the caffeine and so will then come in and buy two drinks, or come in twice a day. This really worries me."
Chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver, has also praised the St Martins initiative.
He tweeted his well done and said he would join the move to get independent retailers to bring in the ban.
Britain's superstores have already said they are to ban the sale of the caffeine drinks to under 16s.
The problem in St Martins was highlighted by the head of the village's all age school.
Sue Lovecy said although the drinks were banned in school, teachers had notices that students were picking them up en-route to school and drinking them for breakfast.
Mr Allum said he was pleased that the latest shops had got on board with the campaign.
“If we can educate the kids not to drink it then they’ve got a better chance of not buying it when they’re older," he added.