While age limits for buying products like alcohol are imposed around the world, did you know you have to be 21 or above to buy a can of whipped cream in New York City?
A little-known law from last November is coming into effect in convenience stores across NYC that is leading stores to start carding and banning sales of whipped cream cans to those under 21.
A bill proposed by NYC state senator Joseph Addabbo became a law on November 25, 2021. The law was passed to curb the possible abuse of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, by teenagers in the city. Reportedly, the nitrous oxide found in whipped cream cans, when abused as a narcotic, is colloquially known as ‘whippits’ or ‘whip-its’.
While the law was passed months ago, it wasn’t until recently that people became aware of it. The age-confirming requirement to buy an unassuming product like whipped cream is causing inconvenience to store owners.
Kent Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) said in a statement that, “Requiring age verification when purchasing whipped cream is another classic compliance burden placed on convenience stores in New York State.”
He added, “We hear constantly how important small businesses are to New York politicians but quite frankly laws like this prove otherwise.”
Turns out, that all the hoopla surrounding the bizarre law is only because of people not fully understanding the law.
Senator Addabbo clarified to news outlets that the law doesn’t require stores to ask for age proof from whipped cream can buyers at all. He claimed that the law targets cartridges sold separately from typical whipped cream canisters.
“It’s actually the cartridge or charger,” said Addabbo, on the actual product that’s being banned to be sold to young people, “It’s a small 2-inch charger or cartridge. Those are the words in the bill.”
There you have it. Another instance of why it’s important to read the fine print!