Alcohol powder (Palcohol) has been approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for sale in the United States starting this summer.
Despite reassurances from the manufacturer, many remain concerned that it will attract youth, is easily concealed and portable, and can be added to other drinks or food—with or without the consent of the person ingesting it.
Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Vermont have banned alcohol powder or have pending legislation that would do so. Maryland has instituted a moratorium for at least a year and Minnesota has created a temporary ban until June 2016.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 bills have been introduced in the 2015 legislative session to date. In addition, a bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) to ban it at the federal level.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence is disappointed in the approval of alcohol powder and urges states to consider banning this product.
Vendors, regulators, and the public should make every effort to protect underage individuals from this substance and to report adverse incidents that involve youth.