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      NY health commissioner bans sale of 'bath salts'

      New York State Health Commissioner Nirav Sha is issuing an order to ban the sale of a substance sold as bath salts that packs as much punch as cocaine or methamphetamines when abused.

      The amphetamine-type substance is resulting in hundreds of hospitalizations nationwide.

      The substance is most often sold in small convenience stores. It causes hallucinations, paranoia, delusions, suicidal behavior and violence as well as chest pains and increased blood pressure.

      U.S. Sen. Charles of Schumer of New York is seeking a nationwide ban.

      The state health commissioner's order issued Monday takes effect immediately. The commissioner can order a ban in the interest of public safety.

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