New York stores will crack down and enforce a year-old state law banning anyone under 21 from buying whipped cream cans.
It stems from concern that teens and young adults are getting increasingly high from inhaling the nitrous oxide used in the cans.
Any store that sells a whipped cream can to anyone under the age of 21 will be fined $250 for the first violation.
Subsequent violations can result in fines of up to $500 for each violation of state law according to the Albany Times Union.
‘Laughing gas’ or ‘hippy crack’ can be inhaled by discharging nitrous gas cartridges, also known as ‘whippets’.
Breathing the gas can cause low blood pressure, fainting, heart attack and sudden death.
According to the Alcohol and Drugs Foundation, the possible long-term effects can lead to memory loss and psychosis.
The New York bill was sponsored by Democratic state Senator Joseph Addabo when it went into effect last year.
Any store that sells a whipped cream can to anyone under the age of 21 will be fined $250 for the first violation. Subsequent violations can result in fines of up to $500 for each violation of state law according to the Albany Times Union
Laughing gas is regularly ingested by young people at parties and festivals, and the small silver cans in which it is usually sold have become a familiar sight. sen. Joseph Addabo described them as an ‘thorn in the side’ before adding that they are ‘indicative of a significant abuse problem’
Kent Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience stores, said he told members of his organization to enforce the law to aid in the crackdown.
He has said he supported the measure after realizing the harmful effects nitrous oxide was having on his district.
Addabo previously said, “This new law is an important step in the fight against a major problem for many neighborhoods in my district.
‘The need to restrict access and sale of (whippets) first became apparent to me after receiving complaints about vacant properties (whippets) in neighborhood streets.
“Use (whippets) piling up in our communities are not only an eyesore, but also indicative of a significant problem of nitrous oxide abuse.”
According to the DEA, about 1 in 5 teens will have used inhalants by the time they turn 13 or reach eighth grade.
Abusing inhalants can damage the parts of the brain that control thinking, movement, sight and hearing.’
The president of the New York Association of Convenience stores, Kent Sopris, said he had instructed members of his organization to enforce the law.
He claims he only learned about it two months ago, blaming the way the law was followed.
Super-sized jerry cans of nitrous oxide or ‘noss’ pictured on the streets of Notting Hill in London after a weekend carnival. The industrial size cans are used for whipped cream in restaurants and are not intended to be used recreationally as a drug
Fast Gas, the company that made the cylinders on display on Notting Hill, says their products are used to produce whipped cream in restaurant settings
What are the risks of inhaling ‘hippie crack’?
Laughing gas has been nicknamed ‘laughing gas’ because of the euphoric and relaxed feeling that people who inhale it can sometimes feel.
The substance – also known as ‘hippie crack’ – is normally purchased in pressurized canisters, which are usually transferred to a container, such as a balloon, from which the gas is inhaled.
The effects of nitrous oxide vary depending on how much is inhaled, but include:
• Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calm.
• Dizziness, difficulty thinking clearly and giggling/laughter.
• Sound distortions or even hallucinations.
• Unconsciousness or death from lack of oxygen. This happens when the oxygen available to breathe is effectively pushed away by the nitrous oxide.
Sopris said, “I think there’s some sort of reporting mechanism that just didn’t work out the way it was supposed to.
“Last year we tracked the bill and when I looked at the bills file there was just no indication it was signed.”
Price Chopper, a supermarket chain based in Schenectady, told the Albany Times Union that self-checkout counters would begin marking the whipped cream cans as age-restricted starting Sept. 1.
Obviously, other food stores will take the same steps to enforce the law.
Last year, more than 107,000 Americans died from drug overdose deaths, the highest number ever and a notable increase from the 93,655 Americans who died in 2020.
It comes as giant nitrous oxide bottles littered the streets of Notting Hill after London’s Carnival.
Revelers usually use the smaller silver cans to hit the ‘high’, but a worrying new trend shows they are now using industrial-sized tubing.
The large jerry cans are used to make whipped cream in restaurants and catering, but are not intended for recreational use.
Experts say some containers can deliver 80 times the usual amount of gas, increasing the risk of people overusing.
The large jerry cans are used in the hospitality industry and possessing them is not a criminal offence, but selling the drug for recreational use is.
The containers are readily available online and on social media, while last weekend dealers toured the Electric City festival in West London’s Gunnersbury Park, offering inflated balloons for £10.
In Southgate, north London, local agents have repeatedly encountered large piles of super-sized jerry cans in public areas.