Panel votes to ban cold medicine sales to minors

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A House committee has approved legislation to ban to minors the sale of Nyquil, Robitussin, and other over-the-counter cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan.

House Bill 1951 would require store clerks to check the age of someone who appears to be under the age of 25 who attempts to purchase a medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to ensure the buyer is over 18.

The proposal by Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) was unanimously approved Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee. Toohil said committee members learned during a hearing that young people sometimes mix DXM or codeine with soda or candy to get a cheap high.

The bill would create a new summary offense, punishable by a fine of $250-$500, for a person who knowingly sells a DXM product to a minor, or for a person who falsely misrepresents his or her age to obtain a DXM product. Sales with a valid prescription would be exempt.

The bill is awaiting consideration in the full House.

Several states already have similar legislation in place.

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