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Baltimore City Health Department
Wednesday December 1st, 2010 :: 10:04 a.m. EST

Health Department Acts to Ban Sale of Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages in Baltimore City:

Health Department Acts to Ban Sale of Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages in Baltimore City

Prohibition on sale of caffeinated alcoholic beverages in Baltimore City begins Thursday at 5:00 p.m.

BALTIMORE, MD (Nov. 30, 2010) — The Baltimore City Health Commissioner is issuing an order barring the sale of alcoholic beverages containing caffeine in the city. The ban takes effect Thursday, Dec. 2, at 5:00 p.m.

Commissioner of Health Dr. Oxiris Barbot has determined that alcoholic beverages that contain caffeine sold within Baltimore City pose an immediate health and safety hazard to City residents and visitors. This conclusion is based on the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration finding that caffeine added to alcoholic beverages is an unsafe food additive, thus making caffeinated alcoholic beverages adulterated and in violation of federal law.

“The use of these products is believed to have contributed to several deaths of young people around the country. We don’t want to wait for a tragedy to occur before we act,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Stopping the distribution and sale of these unsafe and mislabeled beverages in Baltimore City will help protect our young people and save lives.”

The ban applies to the following commercially available products:
“Core High Gravity HG Green”
“Core High Gravity HG Orange”
“Lemon Lime Core Spiked”
“Four Loko”

Official notice is being sent to 566 licensed facilities.
Violators will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for each offense upon conviction. Residents can report merchants who continue selling the prohibited products by calling 3-1-1.

“Removing these beverages from the marketplace removes the temptation to abuse them,” explains Dr. Barbot. “The public health consequences of the masking effects of caffeine in alcoholic beverages are real and include increased risk for unsafe sex practices, driving while
under the influence and increased risks for blackouts.”

For more information on the FDA's recent announcement or to see a CDC fact sheet on caffeinated alcoholic beverages, please visit us online at

Baltimore City Health Department
1001 E. Fayette St
Baltimore, MD 21202

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 410-396-4398

Brian Schleter

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