Russia's consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor plans to introduce legislation in 2009 to restrict sales of low-alcohol and energy drinks.
If passed by the Duma – the Russian Federal parliament – there will be stricter controls on advertising and sales of both high and low alcoholic beverages and restricted availability to the public of spirits, especially to under-age drinkers. The agency is concerned because the main users of low alcohol and energy beverages are young males and females whose lack of experience makes them easy prey to mass advertising both outdoor and on the media.
The agency considers that energy drinks containing caffeine whether of synthetic or natural origins could have harmful effects on under-age drinkers and people suffering from various chronic ailments like hypertension and heart ailments. Intoxication obtained from the use of low-alcohol energy drinks can have dangerous effects as the energy drink is a stimulant and the alcohol is a depressant.
According to Rospotrebnadzor Russian youngsters start drinking alcohol at 12 to 13 years of age while more than 70% of 24-year-olds indulge.