New York stores stop selling whipped cream to under 21s

Albany, New York - Convenience stores in New York state are finally going to begin enforcing a ban on whipped cream sales to those under the age of 21 that was passed over a year ago.

Convenience stores in New York state will begin enforcing a ban on whipped cream sales to those under the age of 21, over a year after the ban was passed.
Convenience stores in New York state will begin enforcing a ban on whipped cream sales to those under the age of 21, over a year after the ban was passed.  © DENIS CHARLET / AFP

The ban was put in place due to fears of young people using the cans to get high.

Although it was passed a year ago, Ken Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, told the Albany Times Union that he just found out it was passed two months ago due to tracking issues.

Now, stores are finally beginning enforcement, requiring customers to show ID before their purchase.

The legislation was sponsored by Democratic State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who called the use of nitrous oxide in the cans by teenagers "a significant problem for many neighborhoods throughout my district."

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, inhaling nitrous "produces a rapid rush of euphoria and feeling of floating or excitement for a short period of time."

Negative effects of doing so can include loss of blood pressure, fainting, heart attack, and even sudden death.

"This law will help to protect our youth from the dangers of this lethal chemical, while helping to clean up our neighborhoods," Addabbo insisted.

Whipped cream ban "was never the intent"

The bill has been causing a lot of confusion, as baffled customers found themselves carded for trying to buy whipped cream and business owners furious at the messy implementation of the law.

On Monday, NBC News contacted Addabbo for comment and the state senator explained that his bill was only meant to target the nitrous oxide cartridges, not whipped cream containers per se or any other ordinary consumer products.

"That was never the intent of the bill," he added.

For now, the effects – both intended and unintended – of the law are here to stay.

Cover photo: DENIS CHARLET / AFP

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