Makers of OTCs Recognize Governor Jay Inslee for Signing SSHB 2163

Washington State to be the fourth state to ban sale of over-the-counter cough medicines containing dextromethorphan to minors 

Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2014) — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association thanks Washington State Governor Jay Inslee for signing SSHB 2163 and Rep. Paul Harris for the initial introduction of the legislation.  The legislation will prohibit retail outlets from selling over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to those under 18 without a prescription.

“The makers of over-the-counter medicines want to acknowledge Governor Inslee, Rep. Paul Harris and the Washington State legislature for taking a major step to address teen cough medicine abuse,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said.  “The passage of similar legislation in states across the country indicates that there is a growing support for this measure. We hope this action in Washington State will help generate further support for a national law.”

According to the 2013 National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) Monitoring the Future Survey, approximately one in 25 teens abuses DXM to get high.

“As a proud Washingtonian, my objective was to enact legislation that would address the key factor in this dangerous behavior, ease of access.  By prohibiting teens from purchasing these medicines on their own, without their parents’ knowledge, we can deter them from engaging in this behavior,” said Harris.

Upon enactment of this bill, Washington will join Virginia, California, and New York as the fourth state to place an age-18 restriction on DXM sales. 

For more information on preventing teen abuse of OTC cough medicines, visit

Contact:  Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 133-year-old trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system $6-$7, contributing a total of $102 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to promoting the increasingly vital role of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements in America’s healthcare system through science, education, and advocacy.