It's now illegal for anyone under 21 to buy whipped cream chargers in New York. Officials say it's to stop teens from inhaling nitrous oxide.
- A 2021 law made it illegal for New Yorkers under age 21 to purchase whipped cream chargers.
- The law is meant to prevent teens from inhaling nitrous oxide used for whipped cream.
It is illegal for New Yorkers under age 21 to purchase whipped cream chargers, according to state law.
The law, which went into effect in November 2021, is meant to prevent teenagers from using whipped cream canisters to inhale nitrous oxide, otherwise known as "whippets." The legislation specifically names "whipped cream chargers" – small steel cartridges of nitrous oxide used in whipped cream dispensers.
Stores in Albany have started to ID shoppers looking to purchase canned whipped cream, NBC 4 New York reported.
The lawmaker who sponsored the bill later clarified that the legislation only targets whipped cream chargers and does not mean shoppers have to show ID for cans of whipped cream.
"There has been a misinterpretation of the language and intent of the bill," New York State Sen. Joseph Addabbo said in a press release. "My bill is not intended to prevent people under the age of 21 from buying whipped cream dispensers, but the small, individual charger or cartridge inside the whipped cream canisters that is the target of this law."
—SenatorJoeAddabbo (@SenJoeAddabbo) August 29, 2022
Approximately 1 in 5 young people have used inhalants like whippits by the time they reach eighth grade, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Abusing inhalants can "cause damage to the parts of the brain that control thinking, moving, vision, and hearing."
"Inhalants are invisible, volatile substances found in common household products that produce chemical vapors that are inhaled to induce psychoactive or mind-altering effects," according to a DEA factsheet.
Sen. Addabbo, of Queens, said he sponsored the New York law after receiving complaints of empty canisters littering the streets.
"The need to limit the access and sale of whippits first became apparent after receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighborhood streets. Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eye sore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem," Addabbo said in an October 2021 statement.
"Nitrous oxide is a legal chemical for legitimate professional use but when used improperly, it can be extremely lethal," Addabbo added. "Sadly, young people buy and inhale this gas to get 'high' because they mistakenly believe it is a 'safe' substance. This law will eliminate easy access to this dangerous substance for our youth."
Correction: August 31, 2022 — An earlier version of this story misstated the nature of a New York state bill. It restricts the purchase of whipped cream chargers to those under age 21, not the sale of canned whipped cream.
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