Bill S3135-2013

Prohibits the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to minors and requires education to minors of the effects of weight loss supplements

Prohibits the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to minors and requires education to minors of the effects of weight loss supplements; requires store owners to post a sign of such prohibition.

Details

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Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jan 30, 2013: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3135

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the penal law, the general business law and the public health law, in relation to prohibiting the sale of overthe-counter weight loss supplements to minors and requiring educational outreach to minors of the risks of weight loss supplements

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would prohibit the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to minors and would require the department of health to establish a weight loss supplement public awareness program targeted to teenagers and pre-teenagers.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends subdivision 3 and the first closing paragraph of section 260.21 of the penal law, and adds a new subdivision 4, to include the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements as a class B misdemeanor.

Section 2 adds a new section 391-00 to the general business law, which prohibits the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to individuals under eighteen years of age, as demonstrated by a driver's license or other acceptable photographic identification. It also requires businesses that sell such supplements to display a sign in a conspicuous location stating that the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to persons under eighteen years of age is prohibited by law.

Section 3 amends the public health law by adding a new article 13-1, which prohibits the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to persons under eighteen years of age, and establishes a weight loss supplement public awareness program. Subsection 1399-yy of article 13-1 directs the commissioner of the department of health to establish an educational outreach program for weight loss supplement awareness by providing for educational outreach services, in conjunction with the department of education, directed at teenagers, pre-teenagers, parents, siblings, teachers, guidance counselors, principals and superintendents.

Section 4 sets forth the effective date of the act.

JUSTIFICATION: Eating disorders overwhelmingly affect teenagers, with 40 to 60 percent of high school girls reporting that they diet regularly. Recent reports also indicate that the growing public health epidemic of eating disorders is not limited to older teens-30 to 40 percent of junior high girls report that they worry about their weight, and children as young as five or six years old have shown symptoms of disordered eating. Many of these teens and pre-teens turn to over-the-counter weight loss supplements in an attempt to lose weight. Unfortunately, it is up to the consumer to determine how effective and safe these weight loss supplements are. Dietary supplements and weight-loss aids are not subject to the same rigorous standards by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as are prescription drugs or medications sold over-the counter. These weight-loss supplements do not have to disclose a full list of ingredients, and often trigger a host of harmful side effects, including nausea, high blood pressure, diarrhea, indigestion, heart rate irregularities, insomnia, vomiting, or worse. This "buyer beware" policy is troublesome enough regarding adult consumers, but it is particularly alarming with regard to teenagers and children. Warning labels on many of these products alert that they are "for adult use only," or are "not for use by individuals under 18 years of age," but yet there are no regulations which restrict a retailer from selling these products to children. While we protect our children from over-the-counter allergy medications like Claritin, we allow unfettered access to untested weight-loss supplements that could wreak potentially permanent damage on their bodies. This legislation would address this problem by not only making the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to persons younger than 18 a class B misdemeanor, but also by requiring retailers selling these supplements to post in a conspicuous location a sign stating that selling over-the-counter weight loss supplements to persons younger than 18 is a violation of state law. Further, this bill tackles the root of the problem by addressing the demand for weight-loss supplements in teenagers and pre-teens by establishing an education and awareness program through the state Department of Health. Using a range of media tools and in conjunction with the department of education, the health department will raise public awareness of the risks associated with use of over-the-counter weight loss supplements by young people.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however, that section three of this act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3135 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 30, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, the general business law and the public health law, in relation to prohibiting the sale of over-the-counter weight loss supplements to minors and requiring educational outreach to minors of the risks of weight loss supplements THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 and the first closing paragraph of section 260.21 of the penal law, as added by chapter 362 of the laws of 1992, are amended and a new subdivision 4 is added to read as follows: 3. He sells or causes to be sold tobacco in any form to a child less than eighteen years old[.]; OR 4. HE SELLS OR CAUSES TO BE SOLD OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLE- MENTS IN ANY FORM TO A CHILD LESS THAN EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD. It is no defense to a prosecution pursuant to subdivision three OR FOUR of this section that the child acted as the agent or representative of another person or that the defendant dealt with the child as such. S 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 391- oo to read as follows: S 391-OO. REGULATION OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS; DISTRIBUTION TO MINORS PROHIBITED. 1. ANY PERSON OPERATING A PLACE OF BUSINESS WHEREIN OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS ARE SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE IS PROHIBITED FROM SELLING SUCH PRODUCTS TO INDIVIDUALS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, AND SHALL POST IN A CONSPICUOUS PLACE A SIGN UPON WHICH THERE SHALL BE IMPRINTED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, "SALE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS TO PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW." SUCH SIGN SHALL BE PRINTED ON A WHITE CARD IN RED LETTERS AT LEAST ONE-HALF INCH IN HEIGHT. SALE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS IN SUCH PLACES, SHALL BE MADE ONLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DEMONSTRATES, THROUGH A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR OTHER
PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT ENTITY OR EDUCA- TIONAL INSTITUTION, THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. SUCH IDENTIFICATION NEED NOT BE REQUIRED OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO REASONABLY APPEARS TO BE AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF AGE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH APPEARANCE SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A DEFENSE IN ANY PROCEEDING ALLEGING THE SALE OF AN OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLE- MENT TO AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. 2. OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS MEANS ANY PRODUCT INTENDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF WEIGHT LOSS THAT ARE SOLD WITHOUT THE NEED OF A PRESCRIPTION. S 3. The public health law is amended by adding a new article 13-I to read as follows: ARTICLE 13-I REGULATION OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS; DISTRIBUTION TO MINORS PROHIBITED SECTION 1399-XX. REGULATION OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS; DISTRIBUTION TO MINORS PROHIBITED. 1399-YY. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM. S 1399-XX. REGULATION OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS; DISTRIBUTION TO MINORS PROHIBITED. 1. ANY PERSON OPERATING A PLACE OF BUSINESS WHEREIN OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS ARE SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE IS PROHIBITED FROM SELLING SUCH PRODUCTS TO INDIVIDUALS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE, AND SHALL POST IN A CONSPICUOUS PLACE A SIGN UPON WHICH THERE SHALL BE IMPRINTED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, "SALE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS TO PERSONS UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW." SUCH SIGN SHALL BE PRINTED ON A WHITE CARD IN RED LETTERS AT LEAST ONE-HALF INCH IN HEIGHT. SALE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCTS IN SUCH PLACES, SHALL BE MADE ONLY TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DEMONSTRATES, THROUGH A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR OTHER PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION CARD ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT ENTITY OR EDUCA- TIONAL INSTITUTION, THAT THE INDIVIDUAL IS AT LEAST EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. SUCH IDENTIFICATION NEED NOT BE REQUIRED OF ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO REASONABLY APPEARS TO BE AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF AGE, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH APPEARANCE SHALL NOT CONSTITUTE A DEFENSE IN ANY PROCEEDING ALLEGING THE SALE OF AN OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLE- MENT TO AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE. 2. OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS MEANS ANY PRODUCT INTENDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF WEIGHT LOSS THAT ARE SOLD WITHOUT THE NEED OF A PRESCRIPTION. S 1399-YY. WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH A WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH AN EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT AWARENESS BY PROVIDING FOR EDUCA- TIONAL OUTREACH SERVICES TO TEENAGERS, PRE-TEENAGERS, PARENTS, SIBLINGS, TEACHERS, GUIDANCE COUNSELORS, PRINCIPALS AND SUPERINTENDENTS. 2. THE COMMISSIONER, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCA- TION, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE IMPLEMEN- TATION OF SUCH OUTREACH PROGRAM, AND SHALL BE DESIGNED TO PROMOTE: (A) INCREASED AWARENESS OF THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS BY PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN WITHOUT THE CONSULTA- TION OF A LICENSED PHYSICIAN; AND (B) COORDINATION OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE EFFORTS TO PROVIDE EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAMS TO MINORS, PARENTS AND EDUCATORS. 3. THE FOLLOWING STRATEGIES MAY BE USED TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE USE OF OVER-THE-COUNTER WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS BY PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN:
(A) OUTREACH CAMPAIGN UTILIZING PRINT, RADIO AND TELEVISION PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS, ADVERTISEMENTS, POSTERS AND OTHER MATERIALS; (B) COMMUNITY FORUMS; AND (C) HEALTH INFORMATION AND RISK-FACTOR ASSESSMENTS AT PUBLIC EVENTS. 4. THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL ASSIST THE DEPARTMENT IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION FOR THE WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT PUBLIC AWARE- NESS PROGRAM AS ESTABLISHED BY THIS SECTION. S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however, that section three of this act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made and completed.

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