New York passes legislation restricting sale of DXM to adults 18 years and older

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed legislation to prohibit pharmacies and stores from selling dextromethorphan to any person younger than 18 years unless they have a prescription.

“This legislation will combat the growing trend of DXM abuse by preventing young people from easily purchasing products that contain DXM,” Cuomo stated. “The overuse of this drug can lead to terrible consequences, so by limiting access to this substance, this new law will prevent tragedies and protect the health of our children.”

“CHPA applauds the New York legislature and Gov. Cuomo for taking a proactive step toward preventing OTC cough medicine abuse,” said Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “Teen cough medicine abuse must be addressed in many ways, and restricting access is one part of a multipronged approach that includes talking to teens about the risks and safeguarding medicines in the home," he said. "CHPA launched the Stop Medicine Abuse campaign to give parents and communities the information and resources they need to fight this problem, and we are hopeful that the passage of this law will increase awareness of this abuse and will ignite support for passage of a federal age-18 sales restriction of DXM.”

New York is now the second state to pass an age-18 sales restriction; California previously enacted this law in January 2012.

Under the new law (S.696-B / A.933-B), all retail establishments selling DXM will be required to request proof of age unless the customer appears to be older than 25 years of age. Any retailer violating the new prohibition will be subject to a fine of $250 for each violation. 

A number of counties in the state including Nassau and Suffolk have already enacted a restriction on the retail sale of DXM to individuals younger than 18 years.

CHPA also supports the federal bill Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644) introduced in March by Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark.

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