Spin Cycle

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The New York State Medical Society has joined ranks with the Suffolk Legislature in calling for a federal ban on the sale of powdered caffeine.

Last week's action of the 30,000 member society to ban all public sales of powdered caffeine  comes after Suffolk last year banned the sale of powdered caffeine to minors, citing its potential danger especially to young athletes looking to enhance their performance.

The county law, the first in the nation, was approved following the deaths of an 18-year-old Ohio prom king and a 24-year-old newlywed and recent college graduate from powdered caffeine overdoses.

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Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, who sponsored the law with Legis. Dr. William Spencer (D-Centerport), praised the society's action as a  "bold statement on the dangers of powdered caffeine . . . A single teaspoon of powdered caffeine is the equivalent of 25 cups of coffee, and the potential for overdose and abuse is a serious threat to public health."

Gregory said he hoped the Federal Drug Administration will "at a minimum" heed the call for tougher rules to distribute the dangerous substance.