A supplement popular among athletes, bodybuilders and dieters is now off limits to young people in Florida.
Gov. Bush has just signed a new law, which treats ephedrine just like cigarettes. You must be 18 or older with a photo id to buy it.
Rod Foys has been a competitive body builder for nearly eight years. He has taken ephedra off and on, and says when it comes to getting into top form, it works.
"I seem to get leaner. It burns body fat. I can definitely see it in my abs after I've used it for a week or two and I get a lot of energy from it," says Rod.
Illinois just became the first state to ban the sale of all Ephedra products, and effective 2004, Florida will ban them for anyone under 18. A move hailed by pharmacologist Phillip Treadwell.
"I think that's perfectly appropriate. This is a drug that can cause people to die and certainly has the potential to do that when abused," says Treadwell.
A study recently commissioned by the National Institutes of Health suggests the safety risks of taking ephedrine are unreasonable: heart attack, stroke and death.
The study helped to convince Tallahassee's New Leaf Market to begin phasing out its supply of Ephedra-based supplements.
"There was the major controversy with, I believe, Steve Bechler the Orioles Pitcher and just really the controversy that has swirled around the issue of ephedra," says Brandon Alkire, Supplements Manager for New Leaf Market.
Yet some of those looking to lose weight or enhance their athletic performance contend Ephedra is safe and effective when taken properly.
The new law in Florida requires retailers to card young people before allowing them to buy Ephedra-based supplements, much like it must card them when they attempt to buy beer or cigarettes. It goes into effect July 1, 2004.
What is Ephedra?
Source: http://www.ephedra.demon.nl (The Ephedra Site)