It turns out you do not actually have to be 21 to purchase cans of whipped cream in New York. After various stores recently began ID’ing customers for purchasing canned whipped cream due to a law that went into effect in November banning “the sale of whipped cream chargers to anyone under the age of 21,” the Senator who originally proposed the bill (State Senator Joseph Addabbo) has made a clarifying statement.
*This article was updated after its initial publication on August 29 to reflect the new explanation.
“There has been a misinterpretation of the language and intent of my bill,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter. “My bill is not intended to prevent people under the age of 21 from buying whipped cream dispensers, but the small, individual charger or cartridge inside the whipped cream canisters that is the target of this law.”
Back in November, New York State officially prohibited the sale of whipped cream chargers to anyone under the age of 21, due to young individuals inhaling from the Nitrous Oxide canisters (aka “whippits”) inside the whipped cream cans to get high.
The law also stated that anyone found in violation of selling whipped cream chargers to someone under 21 will be subject to a “civil penalty of up to $250 for an initial offense and up to $500 for each subsequent offense.”
Even business organizations like the Food Industry Alliance of New York State and New York Association of Convenience Stores initially advised stores to communicate the 21+ policy with customers, as they didn’t think the bill was clear enough and would “rather be safe than sorry” and be hit with fines.
The law was first proposed by Senator Addabbo (D-15) in 2019 due to the issue being brought up by his constituents. On November 25, 2021, Legislation (S.2819-A) officially became law (Chapter 515).
“This new law is an important step in combatting a significant problem for many neighborhoods throughout my district,” said Addabbo when the announcement was first made. “The need to limit the access and sale of whippits first became apparent after receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighborhood streets.”
Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eye sore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem. This law will help to protect our youth from the dangers of this lethal chemical, while helping to clean up our neighborhoods.
In his clarification Tweet, Addabbo said that since the bill was enacted there have been less sightings of discarded whippit cartridges in his district.