ID checks for whipped cream canisters are becoming more common in New York stores as more retail stores start to implement a year-old state law prohibiting the sale of whipped cream canisters to anyone under the age of 21.
According to the Albany Times Union, the law was enacted last year in response to concerns that young teens are growingly getting wasted by inhaling the nitrous oxide used as a propellant in the canisters.
The first offense of attempting to sell whipped cream canisters to a person under the age of 21 carries a $250 fine, with later violations carrying fines of up to $500.
According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is a dissociative anesthetic that can be inhaled by discharging nitrous gas cartridges known as “whippets.”
In addition to temporary euphoria, the drug can cause low blood pressure, fainting, heart attack, and death. Memory loss and psychosis are two possible long-term effects.
“This new law is an important step in [combating] a significant problem for many neighborhoods throughout my district,” Addabbo said when the legislation passed last fall. “The need to limit the access and sale of [whippets] first became apparent [to me] after [I had been] receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighborhood streets. Used [whippets] piling up in our communities are not only an eyesore but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem.”
The first offense of selling whipped cream canisters to someone under the age of 21 carries a $250 fine, with subsequent violations carrying fines of up to $500.
Last year, more than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, the highest number on record and a significant increase from the 93,655 Americans who died in 2020.