“By limiting the purchase of these canisters to those over 21, and particularly to those who have a legitimate purpose for buying them, we can help protect our children from their intoxicating effects,” Sen. Addabbo said.
By Forum Staff
State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) has introduced legislation prohibiting the sale of whipped cream chargers to people under the age of 21 in New York.
“Known as whippits, whippets, nossies, nangs, Johnsons, and a variety of other street names, these items contain nitrous oxide and are commonly used to recharge and refill empty whipped cream canisters, or blow up balloons,” Addabbo said. “However, they have also become a means of recreational drug use, particularly among younger New Yorkers, that can lead to debilitating health threats. By limiting the purchase of these canisters to those over 21, and particularly to those who have a legitimate purpose for buying them, we can help protect our children from their intoxicating effects.”
The senator said he moved to propose the measure after hearing complaints from constituents who are finding empty whipped cream chargers discarded on neighborhood streets throughout his district.
“These piles of used whippets in our communities are not only an eyesore,” Addabbo added, “but may also indicate a significant problem with nitrous oxide abuse.”
The use of whippits can lead to seizures, comas, severe frostbite, and sudden sniffing death syndrome, the senator noted. Nitrous oxide abuse is also associated with brain damage, nervous system disorders, and damage to the lungs, heart, kidney, and liver.
The proposed law, which is now under consideration by the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection, would impose a civil fine of up to $250 for a first offense of illegally selling whipped cream chargers to a person under 21. Subsequent offenses would carry fines of up to $500 each.