On The DayQuil Registry

We have a persistent cough in the household, so we went to the drug store for cough medicine. We picked up a bottle of DayQuil, and when I paid for it the cashier asked for my driver’s license, which then got scanned. So, in some government database somewhere, I’m now officially shown as a DayQuil purchaser.

Apparently this now happens because one of the components of DayQuil can be used by teenagers to do something called “robo-tripping,” and the government wants to try to shut down that channel. So, you need to prove you’re 18 to buy it, and because the information gets scanned, you must end up on a list. Presumably, you can’t walk in to the local CVS and buy 25 bottles of DayQuil without setting off alarms.

Having an identification requirement therefore seems prudent. Still, it’s kind of weird to think that purchasing a patent medicine that you could buy over the counter for decades now lands you on another government list. It makes me wonder — what do you need to show to pick up some Vick’s VapoRub?