Did you know that in the state of New York, if you want to buy whipped cream you have to be over the age of 21? That’s right: Be prepared to show some identification the next time you’re trying to pick up a can. The law is not actually as recent as you might think, and the reason behind it will surprise you.
You Have To Be 21+ To Buy Whipped Cream in New York
In the United States, we are all pretty used to having to show identification if we want to buy things such as alcohol, tobacco, and similar products. Those laws have been around for a long time. As of November 25th of last year, however, New York State added a new product to their ID request list: Whipped Cream. Local convenience and grocery stores, however, only recently actually found out about it and began enforcing it. Customers have certainly been surprised when they reach the cash register and are asked for ID when they don’t appear to have any identification requiring products in their carts and baskets. Many are wondering why. (1)
The Reason Behind The New Regulation
The reality is, that the ID requirement isn’t actually for whipped cream itself. If you are buying it in a tub, for example, you likely won’t be asked. No, the new regulations are because of the nitrous oxide cartridges found inside aerosol whipped cream cans. You may not have heard of nitrous oxide, but you have likely heard of it in its more familiar name: Laughing Gas.
Teens inhale nitrous oxide for its narcotic effects. Unfortunately, it’s actually quite dangerous. The alcohol and drug foundation says inhaling this gas can cause heart attack, psychosis, psychological dependence, and sudden death. (2)
In the last year, New York state has found that teenagers are abusing it as a narcotic. This form is commonly known as “whippits” or “whip-its”. The law is actually carding for the sale of cartridges of nitrous oxide, not whipped cream. There appears to be some confusion, however, over the execution of the new bill and who convenience store employees should be carding for. President of the New York Association of Convenience Stores Kent Sopris is frustrated by the new bill.
“Requiring age verification when purchasing whipped cream is another classic compliance burden placed on convenience stores in New York State,” he said. “We hear constantly how important small businesses are to New York politicians but quite frankly laws like this prove otherwise.”
New York State Says It’s Not Supposed To Be For Whipped Cream
State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who sponsored the bill, said that the intent of the bill is not to target whipped cream, but to target the nitrous oxide canisters. It just so happens that typical canned whipped cream contains one of these canisters. Technically, Senator Addabbo says, a teenager could buy a can of whipped cream, bust open the container, and remove the cartridge, yes. Still, the bill doesn’t actually state anything about needing ID to buy whipped cream, specifically. The intent is not to burden stores and employees, rather, it is simply trying to keep New York’s young people safe.