New Yorkers have only recently become aware of a law that was passed last year. 

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It’s a common practice nowadays to prepare to be ID’d when purchasing alcohol or tobacco. Many convenience and grocery stores won’t even let their employees scan the item unless the customer’s ID is scanned first. Some shoppers, especially those who are clearly over 21 years old, get annoyed by this practice. Others (like me) love getting ID’d, as it makes us feel young again (choosing to forget that it’s just store policy).

But now, a law passed last November is requiring you to show ID to purchase a common household item, and New Yorkers everywhere are confused.

You Now Need ID To Buy Whipped Cream Canisters In New York State

Need to run to the store to buy a can of whipped cream for your ice cream, cake, or pie? Don’t forget your license!

Beginning in November of 2021, New York banned the sale of whipped cream canisters to anyone under 21 years of age. Some stores didn’t realize the policy was in effect, and only recently started to check the ID of their customers, confusing many shoppers over 21 everywhere.

Why do you suddenly need to show proof of age to buy whipped cream?

Whipped Cream Cans Are Often Misused By Teenagers

The intention of the new law banning the sale of canned whipped cream to anyone under 21 is to prevent teenage shoppers from purchasing them to use them for “whippets.”

What Is A Whippet?

A “whippet” is when a whipped cream charger –a small steel cartridge filled with nitrous oxide that forces the whipped cream out of the can - is broken open and the vapor inside of it is inhaled. Inhaling nitrous oxide is said to produce mind-altering, psychoactive effects, and can be incredibly dangerous. 

Why Are Whippets Dangerous?

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA),  1 in 5 young people have used inhalants like whippits by the time they reach eighth grade.  Inhalants like nitrous oxide from whipped cream cans and other household items can "cause damage to the parts of the brain that control thinking, moving, vision, and hearing."

So sure, it may feel silly to show your ID to buy some topping for your dessert. But if it can help prevent the misuse of these cans and keep teenagers safe, we should happily oblige the next time the cashier asks to see your license.

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