CHPA Thanks Governor Bill Haslam for Signing Legislation to Prevent Teen Cough Medicine Abuse

Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2015) — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), which represents the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements, today thanked Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam for signing S.B. 45 into law. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) and Rep. William Lamberth (R-Cottontown), would prohibit the sale of OTC medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors.

DXM is the most widely used cough suppressant and has been relied upon by American families for more than 50 years. Unfortunately, approximately one in 30 teens report abusing OTC cough medicines to get high, according to the 2014 Monitoring the Future study released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“CHPA commends Gov. Haslam and the bill sponsors, Sen. Haile and Rep. Lamberth, for stepping up to fight teen cough medicine abuse in Tennessee,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said.

“Stopping direct sale of OTC cough medicine to teens is a critical prevention measure, as it will put an end to a common way many abusers obtain the medicine – purchasing it themselves. Once enacted as law, this legislation also has the potential to raise awareness among parents and community leaders who are unaware of this dangerous behavior. We hope that this boost in awareness will mobilize parents and community leaders to have conversations with teens about the side effects of abusing all medicines including OTC cough medicine.”

CHPA advocates for state laws as well as a federal law prohibiting the sale of DXM products to minors. In addition, CHPA works to educate and empower parents across the country through its awareness campaign housed at StopMedicineAbuse.org and to reach teens directly through WhatIsDXM.com.

Contact Jenni Terry 202.429.9260



The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the 134-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.