Suffolk health board wants to ban sale of energy drinks to youth

The Suffolk County Board of Health is urging county lawmakers to ban the sale of energy drinks to people younger than 19.

The board voted unanimously on Wednesday. A letter will be sent within a week to the county legislature.

Newsday says the health board also is calling for a similar federal ban.

It cites a potential for elevated heart rates, higher blood pressure, dizziness and even death.

The American Beverage Association says energy drinks are safe. The group says its members do not market the caffeinated beverages to children under 12.

Energy drinks like Monster aren't regulated by the FDA because they're considered a dietary supplement, not a food. The lack of regulation means parents need to be even more vigilant.

In October, a wrongful death suit was filed in California by parents of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)