Editor’s note: The headline and parts of this story were changed to avoid confusion over what you must be 21 to buy. You must be 21 to buy the canisters of gas used in reusable whipped cream dispensers, not the ones traditionally found in grocery stores.
ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — You have to show ID to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and now, the gas canisters used in reusable whipped cream dispensers in New York State. Now it isn’t the type of whipped cream usually found in the dairy aisle of your local grocery store, but rather the small cans of gas used to charge reusable whipped cream dispensers. Those canisters are filled with Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, like what you get at the dentist.
If used improperly and inhaled the gas, commonly called “whippets” or “whippits”, offers a euphoric effect or a type of high. Since November of 2021, anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from buying whipped cream cans. Anyone over 21 is required to show ID at checkout.
The law primarily targets nitrous oxide canisters inside whipped cream cans, not whipped cream itself.
“I know people who have. I have not [done it], but I do know people who have,” says Chloe Diegel. “I think it seems a little ridiculous and silly, especially on days like this when you can make some ice cream sundaes.”
“I feel there should be a warning label because of the chemicals and because kids are getting high, and I’m a teacher. I don’t want my kids under the influence of any kind of drugs or alcohol learning mathematics,” says Michelle Joyner.
State Senator Joseph Addabbo (D-15) first proposed the legislation in 2019 after receiving numerous complaints in his Long Island district.
“So, very simply to not ban the sale. Some people want to use it for baking purposes, that’s fine. But it’s not to have it sold to minors. And it’s a safety issue,” he said. “Nothing more than a mere safety issue because these kids are getting a quick high out of this.”
According to the National Institute of Health, studies have shown younger people are more at risk when it comes to inhalants. Side effects include psychosis, nerve damage or even loss of consciousness.