Noah's Law clears first hurdle - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Noah's Law clears first hurdle

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - "His 15-year-old brother could walk in and buy it, no problem. His 11-year-old sister could walk in and buy it, problem. There's no regulation," said Jennifer Westmoreland of Water Valley, referring to the sale of caffeine pills in Mississippi. 

You can find them hanging in any convenience store in the Jackson area, and all over the state. 

Westmoreland says the pills killed her 17-year-old son, Noah Smith. She says last September, Smith took two 200-milligram caffeine pills, the equivalent to four cups of coffee. Hours later, he died. The official cause of death: Cardiac dysrhythmia due to accidental overdose of caffeine. 

Westmoreland and her three other children will continue to travel to Jackson to push for the passage of Noah's Law, which would ban the sale of caffeine pills and powder to minors under the age of 18. She says it's important to save the lives of other young people. 

"If you consume just a little powder of caffeine, that can be equivalent to up to 25 cups of coffee," said State Representative Tommy Reynolds, who authored the bill. 

Reynolds, of Yalobusha County, authored House Bill 507, the Noah's Law bill. It passed through a House committee Wednesday, and will now go to the House floor. 

"I think the bill is well thought out. I don't think it's overly intrusive, but it tries to solve the problem, the one problem we have here," he said. 

Westmoreland says her son, who was a budding artist and musician, had no idea he was hurting himself when he took a few pills to stay awake. 

"It's only going to get worse if somebody doesn't step up to the plate and do something," she said.

Rep. Reynolds says several other states are taking similar bills under consideration, and six U.S. Senators have asked the FDA to fully ban the sale of caffeine powder. 

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