A party drink that has been blamed for killing many people is now being sold on the mainland and in some Hong Kong pharmacies.
The dangerous drink is called Four Loko, and is produced by Phusion Projects of Chicago in the United States. The drink is 12 to 14 per cent alcohol and has made its way onto many online retailers in China, such as Alibaba’s Taobao, Tmall.com, JD.com and Nuomi.com. According to the Tmall website, drinking a single 695ml can of Four Loko is like drinking five glasses of 45 proof whisky or six cans of beers.
Speaking to Young Post, Dr Angus Chan Ming-wai, the president of the College of Family Medicine, said this type of alcoholic beverage is particularly harmful to young people.
“Many people, including but not limited to the young, can develop acute pancreatitis from consuming this drink. Symptoms can include serious abdominal pain, nausea, a rapid heartbeat and respiratory distress. Acute pancreatitis can even lead to death,” says Chan. He added that Four Loko and other beverages like it can badly damage other organs.
“Four Loko can cause brain damage, which adversely affects learning and reasoning abilities. It will also hurt the liver. Cirrhosis and liver cancer are common diseases amongst heavy drinkers.”
The government should forbid this kind of drink from being sold, Chan says, and put in place a law similar to that which stops people under the age of 18 from buying tobacco.