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Russian Region Bans Sale of Coke, Mountain Dew to Minors

Children in the Vologd region will no longer be able to buy carbonated caffeine drinks, such as Coca Cola.

Schoolchildren in Russia's Vologda region will no longer be able to pick up a can of Coke on their way to class after the local parliament banned the sale of fizzy caffeinated drinks to minors.

According to an overview of the law published Thursday on the regional legislative assembly's website, stores will now have to ask for identification when selling certain soft drinks.

The ban covers carbonated drinks containing caffeine or plant extracts, meaning it will apply to both Western soft drinks — such as Coca Cola, Dr Pepper and Mountain Dew — and domestic products such as Baikal.

The restriction does not extend to tea or coffee, the regional parliament said on its website.

In addition to the outright ban on sales of carbonated caffeine drinks to minors, the law also prohibits their sale in "children's, educational and medical institutions, as well as cultural and sports centers."

Yevgeny Korotkov, chair of the parliament's committee on economic policy and property, said the restrictions had been put in place to protect the health of minors.

"We received an expert opinion on the effects of these drinks on the body of children and adolescents, and they have a very negative impact," Korotkov was cited as saying on the regional legislative assembly website.

The restrictions were adopted in September and came into effect on Jan. 1, the parliament said.

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