Those under the age of 18 will no longer be able to purchase cough suppressants like NyQuil and Robitussin under a bill signed Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The new law, which takes effect in 180 days, targets over-the-counter drugs that contain dextromethorphan. DXM, as it’s known, is found in certain cough and cold medicines, but can cause hallucinations if taken in high doses and has been increasingly used as an easy-to-find recreational drug.
Once the law takes effect, all vendors will have to check the buyer’s identification if they appear under the age of 25. Those under 18 will only be able to purchase a product with DXM if 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 said in a statement. “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.”
Certain counties, including Nassau and Suffolk on Long Island, already had such a ban in place, according to Cuomo’s office.
Cuomo faces a midnight deadline to act on 21 bills, including legislation that would restore cuts to the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, allow pharmacies to take back controlled substances and create a panel that would be able to raise the pay of the state’s management-level employees.
He faces a Saturday deadline to act on 46 other bills. Among those measures is a bill banning the sale of novelty lighters.