Posting in Government
After the publicity dies down I do expect some espresso-and-shot parties to start happening.
But why, cry the masses? Both alcohol and caffeine are perfectly legal. Are you going to ban Irish coffee next? Tell convenience stores that instead of giving coffee to inebriates they should refuse service?
Even before finishing one can he looked pretty wasted. (This is a partial screen grab from his UStream feed.) He wound up drinking one can while responding verbally to Twitter jabs at his sweater. I watched so you didn't have to.
The problem here is just how much of both drugs is in one drink.
A single can of Four Loko contains 260 milligrams of caffeine and is 12 percent alcohol by volume. That's nearly 20 ounces of sake (which is 14 percent alcohol) combined with more than two cups of very strong coffee. In one can. Which you're supposed to chug down because (as Biggs notes) it tastes nasty.
The combination hasn't been tested in people scientifically, which is one reason the FDA is acting so quickly. The alcohol makes you feel drunk, the caffeine makes you feel wide awake, the stuff tastes nasty so you drink it quickly, and if you're with friends who want you to drink more...you get the idea.
Now it's true that if you line up three strong espressos and, say, three shots of whiskey, then chug them all in an hour you can duplicate the effect. But are you going to drive home afterward?
Which is the heart of this problem. People drink this stuff and think that because they haven't passed out they're sober. Then they go out and do stupid things, because they're young. And they wind up dead.
So after the publicity dies down I do expect some espresso-and-shot parties to start happening. But if I have the espresso and you take the shots I can drive you home. Or I can do both and you drive.
Just learn your limit, which is something Four Loko, by itself, doesn't appear able to do.
Nov 19, 2010
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It's true you can't fix stupid, but you don't need to make stupid easy, either. You have guard rails along roads. This is a guard rail. The maker decided to take the caffeine out. You want to throw some super-concentrated coffee in it, or a could of NoDoze tablets, be my guest. But making stupid easy is irresponsible.
You can't fix stupid. If a few people OD on Loko its their own fault. No different than drinking too much of any other type of alcohol. Sure it has caffeine but alot of other drinks and mixed drinks do too. I've drank many a 4 Loko and I am still alive. You just have to pace yourself, not chug it. And its not that bad of taste either. I think its a shame people think the FDA has to protect people from their own stupidity. What will be next? All alcohol?
Look, the Loko is an amazing experience. A few irresponsible college kids, abused it and now it's ruined for the rest of us. Bring back Four Loko! Long Live Loko, don't let it go down without a fight! www.legalizeloko.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Legalize-Loko/169691703055311
Four Loko contains, in a single can, the equivalent of 3 Kahlua and coffees, if you assume each coffee has about 80 mg of caffeine. That's in one "drink." The FDA was created in large part owing to the "muckraking" journalism of Upton Sinclair, who detailed what was happening in meat packing plants at the turn of the last century in his novel "The Jungle." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle
Dana, a huge impetus for the Food and Drug laws of the early 20th century was the habit of selling tape worm eggs for weight control. This has off and on been a problem for sometime before they gave the FDA some teeth. I have some old ads advertising "sterilized tapeworm cysts. You would think they would at least change the name but then as now, people are desperate to lose weight. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. There were so many dangerous, not just inefective drugs out there that there was a crying need for the FDA. And still is as anyone can attest who has been in contact with the internet. Bonnie
My all time favorite drink was an expresso with Kahlua. Oh yes, little did I know that I was a cutting edge drinker back in the early 60's. I also am fond of creme de menthe over vanilla ice cream; just beautiful and tasty too. Is that going to be banned sometime soon? Four Loco was banned according to my local tv station, on 11/19. If they find empties in the back of crashed cars then it is probably appropriate. Otherwise it seems like an over reaction.
Red Bull and Vodka delivers about half the caffeine and one-third the alcohol of a single Four Loko. Two Red Bulls and three vodka shots is the recipe.
As noted it's the combination of caffeine and alcohol in a single can that's the problem. Getting hammered isn't that dangerous. Getting hammered and remaining awake enough to think you're safe to drive is. Four Loko has decided to continue providing you with your adult beverage of choice, an alcoholic drink you may choose to continue enjoying. Want to do espresso shots with it? It's your funeral.
Government was given this authority, in the U.S., in 1906, in the Pure Food and Drug Act, signed by that noted communist Theodore Roosevelt. He acted because people were being killed by bad food practices, and by patent medicines, especially poor people. And because the market refused to take on the problem in the absence of regulation. We saw, in the last decade, what can happen when the existing regulators fall down on the job. People were poisoned by poor sanitary practices in farms and factories. Are you saying you like that? Or would you prefer a cop on the beat? Me, I'll take the cop. Just as I like the "nanny state" of a police force that can stop you from breaking into my house, or punish you if you succeed. It's called law and order.
Will barf it up end of problem. Hysterical reaction, not necessary to have stomachs pumped when your self pumping. Now with the elimination of caffeine it will be possible to hold them down and get truly drunk. However I recommend shots of Whiskey my self like plenty oh yea.
As a college student that drinks four loko I know the problem is not the drink. Its the people who choose to consume it irresponsibly. This drink isn't doing more damage than any other alcoholic beverage, people are always getting dragged to the hospital because they are idiots and think its a good idea to chug beer, or do 20 shots because at the time they don't feel inebriated. Any one who decides to drink a four loko is not an innocent victim. They know it is a strong drink and are drinking it for that reason, they want to get really "hammered." No one buys a four loko just because it might taste good, they are looking to get messed up. Banning this drink won't solve anything all those binge drinking kids will still be around and they will still end up at hospitals getting their stomachs' pumped.
Nothing like living in a Nanny State, where the government controls everything right down to what you can eat & drink....
I thought this sounded crazy until I realized just how often we mix liquor and caffeine. While Four Loko may be stronger than your average Rum & Coke (at least caffeine-wise), what about Red Bull and Vodka? (Not that I think that makes it a good idea - just less of an anomaly. In my opinion, all energy drinks are pretty disgusting.)
I believe the story says 12%. Sake is 14% and I have a link to that. I did some calculations to come up with my whiskey-and-espresso equivalents. Most whiskeys are about 40% alcohol. Espresso can have up to 100 mg of caffeine in it.
This seems to be another instance that shows the German system is better, drink at 16 drive at 18, they at least have 2 years to learn that they can't drink that much and walk, much less drive! Well I guess here in the US our young people that can't handle it are the equivalent of squashed squirrels on the street! Evolution in action!
15% alcohol... that's not your average alcopop (3-5%) ANYTHING that encourages you to chug it (binge drinking) should be under the proverbial magnifying glass - along with anything which has advertising that may appeal to children. As with most drugs (legal or not) the problem isn't the drug itself, it's the misuse of it.
In New York City, this item was sold to minors at grocery stores. Something this loaded should be at liquor stores, not the mom and pop store. It is supposed to be off the shelves by now, but it is still being consumed by minors.