New York bans sale of canned whipped cream to those under 21 to prevent inhalant misuse

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, Aug 29 — Customers in New York, United States will now need to show proof of identification to buy canned whipped cream.

Stores in the state have begun enforcing a year-old law that bans the sale of whipped cream canisters to those under 21-years-old, Times Union reported on Friday (August 26).

While the law came into effect in November 2021, enforcement only began recently as many store owners were unaware that the bill had passed in the first place.

New York Association of Convenience Stores president Kent Sopris told Times Union that this may be due to an issue with tracking the law.

The new law seeks to restrict the use of whipped cream chargers, which are filled with nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” — when inhaled, nitrous oxide can induce euphoria and may be highly addictive.

These chargers, colloquially known as “whippits” are said to be a popular recreational drug among teenagers in the US.

New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who sponsored the legislation, said the law would "eliminate easy access to this dangerous substance”.

“The need to limit the access and sale of whippits first became apparent after receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighbourhood streets,” said Addabbo when the law was signed last October.

“Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eye sore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem.”

According to the US’s Drug Enforcement Agency, long-term use of inhalants can cause muscle weakness, depression and sometimes irreversible damage to the nervous system.

First-time offenders found selling whipped cream chargers to people under 21-years-old will be fined US$250 (RM1,122), while repeat offenders will be fined US$500 (RM2,244) each subsequent offence.