Michigan retailers are diligent about checking identification and refusing to sell alcohol and tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. But should our state consider expanding the list to include more products that threaten teen health?

New York State Breaks New Ground

In October of last year, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill that will restrict retailers in New York State from selling over-the-counter weight loss and muscle-building supplements to minors. That law will take effect in April of this year.

While similar measures have been considered in other states, New York State is the first in the US to impose such a ban. Lawmakers in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Missouri have all been unsuccessful in their attempts to pass similar legislation within the last two years.

Michigan lawmakers have yet to introduce similar legislation in our state.

Supplements Can Cause Serious Health Risks

According to the Harvard School of Public Health:

"Over-the-counter diet pills and muscle-building supplements are inadequately regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are often sold without any scientific evidence of their safety or effectiveness."

The school goes on to say that the ingredients in such products can be linked to serious health conditions.

"Some products have been found to include dangerous ingredients linked to serious health risk including stroke, testicular cancer, liver damage, and death. Use of these products also has been linked to increased risk of eating disorders and illicit anabolic steroid use in youth and young adults." 

Retailers in New York State can face a $500 fine if caught violating the state's new law once it goes into effect.

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