CHPA Commends Gov. Cuomo for Signing S.B. 696 into Law

Restricting sales of dextromethorphan to those over 18 will give parents a tool to prevent over-the-counter cough medicine abuse

Washington, D.C. (September 27, 2013)—The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) released the following statement today after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed into law S.B. 696 – legislation sponsored Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-North Buffalo) – that would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. New York is now the second state to pass an age-18 sales restriction; California previously enacted this law in January 2012.

“CHPA applauds the New York legislature and Gov. Cuomo for taking a proactive step toward preventing OTC cough medicine abuse. One in 20 teens abuses OTC cough medicines to get high, and this law will put a stop to one way teens access it – purchasing it themselves,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said. “Teen cough medicine abuse must be addressed in many ways, and restricting access is one part of a multi-pronged approach that includes talking to teens about the risks and safeguarding medicines in the home. 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.”

CHPA partners with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) who also expressed support for the law.

“CADCA applauds Gov. Cuomo and New York legislators for passing such an important bill.  Since 2006, CADCA has partnered with CHPA to help prevent and reduce youth cough medicine abuse.  CADCA’s more than 5,000 coalitions promote strategies to reduce access and availability of substance that can be abused by our young people. This legislation is an example of a policy change that can save lives,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA Chairman and CEO.

CHPA supports the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644) introduced in March by U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D–PA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

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About CHPA’s StopMedicineAbuse.org Campaign

  • StopMedicineAbuse.org provides toolkits, brochures, and other materials at no cost to engage parents and community leaders in the fight against teen cough medicine abuse.
  • StopMedicineAbuse.org’s Five Moms initiative brings together five moms, a school nurse, an accountant, a police officer, an educator, and an author, from across the country to raise awareness of OTC cough medicine abuse among parents and to spur them to action – to educate themselves, to talk with their children, to safeguard their medicines, and to spread the word to other parents.
  • Through the Stop Medicine Abuse legislative action center, parents and other advocates who support a federal age-18 sales restriction of DXM can send a letter of support for the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act (S. 644) to their U.S. senators.
  • CHPA member companies placed a “PARENTS: Learn About Teen Medicine Abuse – www.StopMedicine.Abuse.org” icon on the packaging of DXM-containing cough medicines.  The icon serves as a mini public service announcement for parents, making them aware of the issue of cough medicine abuse at the point-of-sale and point-of-use and directs them to StopMedicineAbuse.org where parents can access resources they need to more comfortably talk to their teen about the issue.
  • CHPA collaborates with The Partnership at Drugfree.org to provide teens with accurate information about cough medicine abuse through its teen-oriented website, DXMstories.org.

Contact: Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260


CHPA is the 132-year-old trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.