Whipped cream purchases in New York now require an ID check.
Enforcement of a Democrat-passed law requires retailers to stop sales to people under 21 in an effort to deal with the state’s spiraling drug problem.
Democrat New York state Sen. Joseph Addabbo, of Queens, sponsored the law in November 2021 but most retailers only became aware of it recently. The law was in response to nitrous oxide abuse as drug addicts removed the canisters to inhale the contents.
Whippits is the street name for nitrous oxide chargers. Whipped cream canisters are filled with nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which is used by dentists during oral surgery to relieve pain. Nitrous oxide causes a euphoric effect and is highly addictive.
“This new law is an important step in combatting a significant problem for many neighborhoods throughout my district,” Addabbo said in a 2021 statement announcing the law. Many say the problem is an expected outcome of the legalization of marijuana as users seek more potent substances from which to get high. The problem may spread to other states, like Missouri, who are voting on the legalization of recreational pot.
Nitrous oxide’s use as an ingredient in whipped cream helps to propel the cream out through the nozzle. According to Addabbo’s office, the product is legally sold over-the-counter for cooking and other at-home uses, making it an “inexpensive” and easy way for young people to “get high.”
“Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eye sore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem,” he added. “This law will help to protect our youth from the dangers of this lethal chemical, while helping to clean up our neighborhoods.”
Addabbo warned that nitrous oxide can be “extremely lethal” when not used for its “legitimate professional” purposes.
“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,” he said.