Speaking at the plenary session of the parliament, MP Ganira Pashayeva expressed concern about the sale of energy drinks to children under the age of 18. The MP noted that parents also made appeals to her on this issue. "Energy drinks cause great damage to our children, our growing generation, our gene pool. It's not just a matter of being addicted. There are serious consequences of this," she said.
According to Pashayeva, parents say they are not able to control their children. "They say, we send our children to schools. These drinks are sold anywhere around schools. If today the important body of the country - the Food Security Agency and the Ombudsman - sound the alarm, and if the parliament is being addressed on this issue, then serious steps must be taken," she noted.
The MP considered it necessary to ban the sale of energy drinks to underages as well as to impose severe penalties on those who violate these requirements. "It is wrong to risk the future of the nation so that somebody will make money," Pashayeva added.
According to medical expert, professor Adil Geybulla, administrative restrictions are meaningless without awareness campaigns. "I think the main issue is the mechanism of energy drinks control. These drinks are currently sold openly in all stores. Entrepreneurs are interested in selling these drinks. It is impossible to require an ID card from everyone. In my opinion, this issue can not be forbidden administratively. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the propaganda work. This issue should be especially highlighted in the media, and materials based on expert opinions about health hazards of energy drinks should be prepared and presented to the public. Parents and children should realize that these drinks are really harmful. It is impossible to achieve anything by putting a ban on it. Energy drinks are greatly damaging to the developing organism. They contain proteins, taurine-like ingredients and various mixtures. It is also unclear whether some energy drinks are designed in compliance with technical standards. These ingredients increase heartbeat, and stimulate excessive burden on the heart, sometimes even leading to severe cardiac pathologies. Such drinks also have a very tedious effect on the brain. In this sense, it is not expedient for young people to use energy drinks massively. This applies not only to young people, but also to adults. Therefore, awareness-raising activities and anti-propaganda campaigns of these drinks should be carried out. Only in case of proper propaganda, we can succeed," noted the expert.
Shahin Jamalov, chairman of the Human Rights XXI Century Foundation, said that currently the sale of energy drinks to persons under the age of 18 is banned in some countries in the world. "In my opinion, such a method can be applied in Azerbaijan as well. I think there are serious problems with energy drinks. Unfortunately, there are no laboratory findings or specific investigations on this issue. But the prohibition of these drinks in many countries is evidence that they are really dangerous. We are witnessing many negative events. This issue is discussed in related institutions, which means that energy drinks are really dangerous. Therefore, the ban on selling energy drinks to underages would be a useful step. For this purpose, like all alcoholic beverages, the sale of energy drinks can be prohibited by law. It is easy to adjust the enforcement mechanism. The main issue is that there is such a substance in the legislation. I do not think that after these drinks are prohibited, the interest in them will increase. Even if there is some interest at first, the mechanism will have its impact," Jamalov noted.
According to sociologist Javid Imamoglu, given the context of the protection of children's health, the proposed issue is crucial and relevant. "Everyone in the age of 0 to 18 is considered a child in Azerbaijan. Their health is directly protected by the state. Such a proposal by a parliamentary member may be viewed as an important step towards the protection of children's health. This can also be considered as one of the steps taken to reduce dependence on harmful substances in the future. In my opinion, it is not enough to prepare a draft law to control this issue. Public control is of particular importance here. Individuals must be aware of their responsibility. Along with along with cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, the sale of energy drinks to underages can also be prohibited. The composition of these drinks is still uncertain. Their damage to health can not be denied. In this case, the intervention is absolute given the massive use. But this should be made in such a way as to address the issue from the context of public health. It is important for the society to be able to clarify itself what is right and what is wrong. Otherwise, the interest in these drinks will further increase. Everyone realizes that these drinks are harmful. Therefore, teenagers and children should be educated about their consequences. It is our duty to keep young people away from this bad habit," he said.