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Movement Builds Against Dangers of Powdered Caffeine and Liquid Nicotine

Two resolutions recently approved by the Suffolk County Legislature that address public health risks associated with powdered caffeine and liquid nicotine have been adopted by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)!

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Saratoga Springs, NY - June, 1, 2015 - Two resolutions recently approved by the Suffolk County Legislature that address public health risks associated with powdered caffeine and liquid nicotine have been adopted by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY)! At the annual meeting of the House of Delegates, Suffolk County Legislator William R. Spencer, M.D. (D-Centerport), and his colleagues from the Suffolk County Medical Society brought to the floor a pair of resolutions that further bolster the Suffolk County laws  designed to protect the public from both substances which have sky-rocketed in popularity.

“As we continue to gain momentum in our mission to combat the serious medical issues we have seen result from the use of powdered caffeine and liquid nicotine, it is encouraging to see the groundswell of support we have garnered.  MSSNY is made up of over 30,000 physicians from across New York; having these bills supported by such a large and reputable network of professionals validates the public health policies initiated by Suffolk County” stated Legislator Spencer. 

Mirroring the 2014 Local Law which banned the sale of powdered caffeine to minors in Suffolk County, MSSNY adopted a resolution recommending a ban on the sale of all pure powdered caffeine in retail establishments.  The Medical Society has advised that distribution of the highly potent substance be limited to pharmaceutical and commercial use only, and should not be available  for purchase by the general public over the internet or in a retail environment. 

“I want to thank MSSNY for their bold statement on the dangers of powdered caffeine,” said Suffolk County Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, who sponsored the legislation to ban the sale of the substance to minors in Suffolk County. “A single teaspoon of powdered caffeine is the equivalent of 25 cups of coffee, and the potential for overdose and abuse is a serious threat to public health.  We are hopeful the FDA will hear the warnings from these medical professionals and, at minimum, adopt tougher standards for the distribution of powdered caffeine.”

The FDA has already issued a statement urging consumers to avoid pure powdered caffeine products as they pose many public health risks.  They have yet to take any regulatory action against the substance, but continue to collect information.

Also introduced at the House of Delegates was a resolution calling on the FDA to require an industry standard for child-resistant packaging on e-cigarette refills.  The refills, which currently are not regulated by the federal government, have led to thousands of accidental poisonings, and even death since hitting the market.   Knowing the danger that these products pose, specifically to children, MSSNY has recommended that all liquid nicotine products be labeled with appropriate warnings and contain instructions on safe storage practices.  Furthermore, they have recommended that the sale and distribution of e-cigarette refills be prohibited to those under 18 and adopted the same requirements for sale of the substance put forth by the Suffolk County Legislature. 

“Having worked on liquid nicotine legislation for over a year, and moving it through the Suffolk County Legislature for final approval, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the medical society following our lead and addressing this important health issue. As Chairwomen of Suffolk County’s Education Committee and most importantly, as a mother of three children, I know how dangerous liquid nicotine can be,” said Legislator Sarah Anker.

A similar liquid nicotine resolution is expected to be brought to the American Medical Association (AMA) for consideration at their next House of Delegates.  Currently, the FDA Center for Tobacco Products is investigating the effects of electronic cigarettes on public health.