Stores have begun requiring ID to buy cans of whipped cream in New York state, thanks to a new law.
WRGB and the Times Union report stores in the Capitol Region have started posting signs letting customers know that proof of age is now required at checkout for sales of whipped cream canisters. Customers must be 21 or older to buy the dessert topping, similar to age restrictions for alcohol and tobacco products.
The new legislation, sponsored in the state Senate by NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), was passed last year to combat the use of whipped cream chargers, also known as “whippits, whippets, or whip-its,” as an over-the-counter inhalant to get high. The chargers are filled with nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” which has euphoric effects and can be highly addictive with harmful effects if used improperly, including heart attacks, psychosis, brain damage, hearing loss, injuries and even sudden death.
“Nitrous oxide is a legal chemical for legitimate professional use but when used improperly, it can be extremely lethal,”Addabbo said in a statement. “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.”
The law took effect in November 2021, but enforcement lagged due to an issue with tracking of the law, according to Kent Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores. Sopris told the Times Union he became aware of the law’s enactment two months ago and began informing members about it immediately.
Some stores have already begin carding customers; a Stewart’s Shops representative told WRGB that the convenience store chain’s policy is to ask for ID for anyone who appears under the age of 30 when buying whipped cream. The Times Union reports Price Chopper’s self-checkout registers are being updated to flag whipped cream cans as age-restricted products on Sept. 1, and cashiers have already begun requiring identification for those items.
The law also applies to chargers that can be purchased for use in refillable whipped cream dispensers, but not for tubs of whipped cream without a spray (like Cool Whip).
Related Food Content: