Stores in the state of New York are prohibiting people under 21 from buying canisters of whipped cream, due to a law passed in November 2021.
Why? Whipped cream canisters are filled with nitrous oxide, which is commonly known as “laughing gas.” The state Senate decided to raise the age to buy these canisters because people were reportedly using them to inhale the chemical.
- The state senate passed the law last year, but stores across the state are beginning to enforce it this month, according to NBC affiliate WNBC.
- If a business is caught selling a whipped cream canister to someone under the age of 21, they can be fined $250 on the first offense and up to $500 for following violations.
Details: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that inhaling nitrous oxide can cause damage to the parts of the brain that control thinking, vision, moving and hearing. In the worst cases, inhaling this chemical can lead to severe dementia.
Key quote: “Nitrous oxide is a legal chemical for legitimate professional use but when used improperly, it can be extremely lethal,” said Joseph P. Addabbo, the New York senator who sponsored the bill. “Sadly, young people buy and inhale this gas to get ‘high’ because they mistakenly believe it is a ‘safe’ substance. This law will eliminate easy access to this dangerous substance for our youth.”