Taking the snap out of Sparks

If you no longer feel that boost when you down a Sparks energy drink, don't be surprised.

MillerCoors, maker of the alcoholic beverage, has agreed to remove caffeine and several other ingredients from the drink.

The move is part of a deal the company made with 13 states and the city of San Francisco. A coalition of state attorneys general had complained that the stimulants reduced drinkers' sense of intoxication. And, they charged that the drink was marketed to younger consumers who, as a demographic group, tend to be prone to risky behaviors in driving and other activities.

"They are fundamentally dangerous and put drinkers of all ages at risk," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. The "agreement will ensure that from here on out, these drinks are kept off New York shelves and away from New York consumers."

Cuomo had spearheaded the investigation into caffeinated alcohol beverages. The settlement also includes the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio and Oklahoma.

MillerCoors has agreed not to produce caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future, and it will $550,000 to cover the cost of the investigation into Sparks.

Competitor Anheuser-Busch agreed last summer to reformulate its Tilt and Bud Extra drinks to remove the stimulants, part of a settlement with 11 attorneys general.

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