Most Americans Back Ban on Powdered Alcohol, Poll Finds
Adults worried that teens will be more likely to abuse alcohol in this form
MONDAY, June 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans support banning powdered alcohol because of its potential misuse by teens, a new survey finds.
Powdered alcohol was approved in March by U.S. regulators but some states have already banned it, the poll's authors said.
The products, which will be sold in pouches, will be available in flavors such as vodka, rum and mixed drinks.
"Given that several states are considering legislation about powdered alcohol, our poll looked at what the public thinks about this new product," Dr. Matthew Davis, director of the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, said in a university news release.
"The majority of adults agree that powdered alcohol may spell trouble for young people," he said.
Sixty percent of adults favor a complete ban on powdered alcohol in their states, and another 84 percent support banning online sales of the product, according to the poll.
The survey, which was released Monday, also found that 85 percent of adults believe marketing for powdered alcohol should not be allowed on social networking sites frequented by youngsters.
Ninety percent of adults are concerned that powdered alcohol will be misused by those younger than 21; 85 percent worry that powdered alcohol will increase alcohol use among people younger than 21; and 81 percent are concerned that it will be easy for people younger than 21 to buy powdered alcohol, according to the poll.
One packet of powdered alcohol mixed with six ounces of liquid creates an instant cocktail, the authors explained in the news release.
"The product's makers tout powdered alcohol as improving convenience for people who enjoy the outdoors and others who want to travel light with alcoholic beverages," said Davis, who is also a professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Michigan Medical School, in Ann Arbor.
Sales of powdered alcohol are set to begin this summer, but some states -- including Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont -- have already banned it. Michigan lawmakers are also considering a ban, the poll's authors said.
"In the U.S., parents, communities and health care providers already face serious challenges with underage alcohol abuse and its harmful effects on children's health. This poll indicates common concern among our communities over potential abuse and misuse of powdered alcohol, as well as the product's potential to exacerbate the problem of underage drinking," Davis said.
"Concerns of the public are important to understand as lawmakers across the country consider legislation to restrict or ban the use of powdered alcohol in their states," he concluded.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about underage drinking.