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NEW YORK -- The New York City Health Department wants to ban the sale of so-called "alcopops" from convenience stores and delis, according to reports by CBS 2 and the Daily News. The premixed, flavored, carbonated malt beverages include products such as Mike's Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice.
Critics have said that the sugary beverages attract underage drinkers. "We are very concerned about these," testified Health Commissioner Thomas Farley at a City Council Meeting this week.
Bronx State Sen. Jeff Klein has introduced a bill that would ban certain beverages like Four Loko, whose previous caffeinated version was banned by the FDA. However, according to the CBS 2 report, the Health Department wants to go further and ban premixed alcoholic drinks with an alcohol content greater than six percent from being sold in the c-store market.
This would take most premixed alcoholic beverages off the shelves of the city's 8,700 convenience stores, delis and mini-marts. Customers would have to go to liquor stores to purchase them.
A number of convenience store operators spoke out against the possible ban, stating that it would definitely hurt their sales, especially in the coming summer months. Others criticized the city's priorities.
"We should be worried about more important things, like firehouse closings," said Queens Councilman Daniel Halloran.