Everyone knows to bring their ID with them when going to buy alcohol or tobacco products — but what about when looking to get a can of Reddi Whip from the grocery store?
A photo from New York's Albany County has been making the rounds online, thanks to its surprising message from a store. The sign appears to be placed in front of a refrigerator door at a Stewart's convenience store.
The sign reads that "effective 8/12/22 we will be IDing for whipped cream! Must be 21 years old!"
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So why are the stores suddenly deciding that only adults can purchase the tasty ice cream topping? Because the cans can be used as an inhalant. Some teens use the nitrous oxide (a.k.a. laughing gas) in the whipped cream canister to get high, more commonly referred to as doing "whippits” or “whip-its."
Due to that fact, it is actually now illegal for people under 21 to buy cans of whipped cream in the state of New York. We're as surprised as you are.
And it's not even that new of a restriction. The law, which was sponsored by New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, from Queens, quietly took effect in November 2021.
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"This new law is an important step in combatting a significant problem for many neighborhoods throughout my district,” Addabbo said at the time the bill passed in fall of 2021. "The need to limit the access and sale of whippits first became apparent after receiving constituent complaints about empty canisters on neighborhood streets. Used whippits piling up in our communities are not only an eye sore, but also indicative of a significant nitrous oxide abuse problem."
Addabbo went on to say that using nitrous oxide improperly can be deadly, and that "sadly, young people buy and inhale this gas to get ‘high’ because they mistakenly believe it is a ‘safe’ substance."
It comes with a $250 fine for the first offense of selling whipped cream canisters to someone under 21, and up to $500 for subsequent violations.