CHPA Applauds Nevada Lawmakers for Age-18 Sales Law on Cough Medicine

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Press Releases and Statements | Jun 1, 2017

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — This week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed legislation prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors.

While millions of Americans use products containing DXM to safely treat their symptoms, according to the 2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) annual Monitoring the Future survey, one in 30 teens abuse OTC cough medicine containing DXM to get high.

 “CHPA thanks Governor Sandoval for signing the bill into law as well as Senator Patricia Farley for her leadership and commitment to passing legislation aimed at addressing the issue of teen OTC cough medicine abuse,” CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville said. “Nevada is now the 13th state to pass an age-18 sales law, joining states across the country in recognizing that limiting teen access to DXM is a proven way to prevent abuse.” 

In 2012, California became the first state to prohibit sales to minors. Since then, governors from Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington have all signed similar laws.

“The two most important tools in combating teen OTC cough medicine abuse are public policy and education. This is why CHPA has long supported state efforts to limit teen access to DXM and has worked to increase parental awareness through its campaign,” said Melville. “We are confident that this new law will help raise awareness about the issue with parents, while ensuring access for the millions of families who responsibly use products containing DXM to treat common cough symptoms.”

To learn more about the side effects of DXM abuse and access toolkits, brochures, and other educational materials for parents and community leaders, visit

Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products.