Urban Outfitters pulls drug-themed gear
Critics accused the store of using its novelty items to promote substance abuse. Health experts say America's prescribing itself enough problems as it is.
Urban Outfitters (URBN) told CNN that it plans to halt production of prescription-themed coffee mugs, booze flasks, shot glasses, syringe shot shooters and other products after receiving complaints from The Partnership at Drugfree.org, The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the attorneys general from 22 states and Guam.
Urban Outfitters responded that the products were just satire playing on the general and widespread acceptance of alcohol and caffeine, but critics read them as endorsements for abusing painkillers.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in particular, accused Urban Outfitters of marketing said products to high school students during a time when prescription drug abuse among teenagers is up 33% since 2008. The president of the Association of Poison Control Centers wrote Urban Outfitters chief executive Richard Hayne a letter informing him that, “in 2011, (local poison control centers) managed 209,909 cases of exposures to painkillers. Of those, 21,752 were teens ages 13 to 19.” The attorneys general sent a letter calling prescription drug use no less than “a national health crisis.”
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention agrees with that assertion, noting that one person in the U.S. dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose. Half of those deaths involve prescription painkillers. Accidental overdoses in general have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S.
Yet even some medical experts say those critics shouldn't blame novelty items from the mall for the nation's prescription drug problems. CNN's Sanjay Gupta notes that the distribution of morphine used in prescription painkillers increased 600% from 1997 to 2007. In Gupta's own words, the United States now prescribes “enough pain pills to give every man, woman and child one every four hours, around the clock, for three weeks.”
In short, the problem isn't on Urban Outfitters' shelves. It's in your medicine cabinet.
More on moneyNOW
- Donald Trump rakes in millions selling name to world
- Obamacare surprise: Young people want coverage
- New $25K rifle is fully loaded -- and then some
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished an upbeat week on a mixed note. The S&P 500 added just over a point, holding its weekly gain at 1.0% while the Nasdaq lost 0.4%.
The major averages began the day on an upbeat note, but relinquished their opening gains during the first 90 minutes of action. The early sentiment was boosted by a better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report for February (175K versus Briefing.com consensus 163K), but a closer look into the report suggested that ... More
More Market News
The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'