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Entries in Chuck Schumer (2)

Friday
Dec232011

Caffeine Mist Is a ‘Club Drug,’ Says Schumer

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A caffeine mist marketed as “breathable energy” may become a health hazard for teens and young people, according to doctors and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

On Thursday, Schumer asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to review the product’s safety.

Aeroshot Pure Energy, made by Breathable Foods in Cambridge, Mass., comes in a lipstick-size  tube designed to spray a mist of caffeine and B vitamins that dissolve in the mouth, according to the company. Each tube contains 100 mg of caffeine, which is about the amount contained in a large cup of coffee. The product will be sold over the counter and is set to hit store shelves in Boston and New York City next week, at $2.99 per tube.

The company promotes the product as easy to use, calorie free and compact enough to fit inside a jean pocket or carry-on luggage. Schumer says Aeroshot’s availability and the company’s marketing could sway teens and young adults to mix it with alcohol, creating a potentially dangerous combination.

In a statement, Schumer called the product a “club drug” that is “designed to give users the ability to drink until they drop.”

Bruce Goldberger, professor and director of toxicology at the University of Florida, told ABC News that while the product is not the same as such illegal “club drugs” as ecstasy, the marketing and availability of the product is “troublesome.”

“It’s a very clever marketing, obviously reaching out to young people who consume energy drinks,” Goldberger said. “If you put this into the wrong hands, it could have serious consequences.”

Goldberger said he worries that the product, which will be sold with no age restrictions, could easily fall into the hands of  children, for whom 100 mg of caffeine could have serious health consequences. He also said there is no way to guarantee that users won’t inhale the caffeine mist directly into their lungs, which would be dangerous.

Aeroshot has about half the amount of caffeine contained in  alcoholic energy drinks like Four Loko and Joose, which were banned by the FDA in 2010 after reports that the drinks had sent some users  to the hospital.

In a statement on the company’s website, Breathable Foods CEO Tom Hadfield said the product had none of the “mystery chemicals” contained in other energy drinks and was not supposed to be mixed with alcohol. Also, “Aeroshot is not intended for use by children and is not marketed to children,” Hadfield wrote.

The FDA plans to review information about the product and determine if it meets federal safety and labeling standards, according to a spokesperson for the agency.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb092011

Senator Looks to Impose Nationwide Ban on Bath Salts

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Following bans in Florida, Louisiana and North Dakota, and a warning from White House Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske, New York Senator Charles Schumer has proposed a bill that would add bath salts to a list of federally-controlled substances.

"These so-called bath salts contain ingredients that are nothing more than legally sanctioned narcotics, and they are being sold cheaply to all comers, with no questions asked, at store counters around the country," Schumer said in a February 1st statement.

The synthetic drugs, sold online, in convenience stores and in smoke shops, can affect the body in ways similar to cocaine and methamphetamines.

"The longer we wait to ban the substance, the greater risk we put our kids in," Schumer said.  "These so-called bath salts are dangerous drugs masquerading as a harmless product.  They offer a cheap and deadly high, and we need to move immediately to get them off the shelves."

Schumer has also asked New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah to ban the chemicals statewide.  Other states, such as Idaho, are following suit.  The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Israel have already banned the chemicals.

The recent flurry of legislation stems from mounting reports of bath salts, plant food and incense made with methylenedioxypyrovalerone and mephedrone causing hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, even some deaths.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio