The state of New York, USA, recently passed legislation requiring people to show identification when purchasing whipped cream from a store. People under the age of 21 would be unable to purchase canisters of whipped cream after the law was passed. The recently passed state law makes purchasing whipped cream illegal for anyone under the age of 18.
It’s because kids discovered more than one way to use whipped cream cans. According to reports, the cans contained nitrous oxide, which the teenagers inhaled to get high. These cans, dubbed Whippets, were used as inhalants to deceive cognitive abilities.
Inhalants are defined by the US Drug Enforcement Administration as ‘invisible, volatile substances found in common household products that produce chemical vapours that are inhaled to induce psychoactive or mind-altering effects’. New York Senator Joseph Addabbo sponsored the state law, which went into effect in November 2021.
‘The need to restrict whippet access and sale became apparent after receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighbourhood streets. Used whippets piling up in our communities are not only an eyesore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem,’ Addabbo said in a statement at the time the bill was passed.
The issue became obvious because the chemical substance, nitrous oxide, was widely available and was classified as a legal chemical for legitimate, professional use. When the chemical is used incorrectly, however, it causes addictive and lethal effects in those who consume it for such purposes.
In their report, the DEA stated that long-term exposure to such a concentrated chemical can cause irregularities in the heart’s rhythm, which can lead to heart failure or death ‘within minutes’. Customers attempting to purchase whipped cream cans in New York are now required to present identification.