Want to Buy Whipped Cream? Can I See Some ID?

NY stores are starting to ban sale to minors, but bill's sponsor says that wasn't the intent
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2022 8:21 AM CDT
Want to Buy Whipped Cream? Can I See Some ID?
A display of Reddi-wip and other whipped cream containers is seen at a Walmart in Pittsburgh on June 25, 2019.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Turns out former President Trump may not have been completely wrong about needing ID when buying groceries, at least in some stores in his home state that are apparently misinterpreting a recently implemented law. Late last year, New York state passed a restriction on the selling of whippits—the cartridges filled with nitrous oxide, aka "laughing gas," that are found in whipped cream canisters—to anyone under the age of 21. The law came about to prevent kids and teens from getting a quick, cheap high by inhaling the gas, which is used as a propellant in whipped cream containers.

The New York Post notes that that "short-lived euphoria" can come at a cost: In some instances in the short term, the drug can cause blood pressure to dip, as well as lead to fainting, heart attacks, and even death. Doing whippits over the long haul has also been shown to affect memory and lead to psychosis. Even though the law went into effect in November, stores in the Empire State are just now starting to enforce it. NBC New York shows one such attempt at a Stewart's convenience store in Albany County, where a sign is seen on a refrigerator door, noting: "Effective 8/12/22 we will be IDing for whipped cream! Must be 21 years old!" The crackdown at select locations is causing confusion, and laughs, among customers, per NBC News.

"What is going on right now?" says one woman who was carded for buying whipped cream at a supermarket in Watertown. "I'm 43 with gray hair." But the sponsor of the bill, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr., explains that while yes, kids can break open a Reddi-wip container and pull out the nitrous oxide cartridge inside, the law as written wasn't intended to apply to the sale of whipped cream containers, but only to the cartridges themselves. And so "yes, a minor can buy a ... whipped cream canister," he tells WGRZ. "They do not have to be ID'd. ... That's not what the focus was." Addabbo has since put out a press release to try to clear up some of the mix-up. Anyone who violates the actual law, however, may face a $250 fine for the first offense, then $500 for each additional infraction. (More nitrous oxide stories.)

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