Why You Now Have To Be 21 To Buy Whipped Cream

There is a new rule in New York that has sparked some confusion over the fact that it states consumers have to be 21 to buy whipped cream.

By Joseph Farago | Published

whipped cream

It’s typical for products like alcohol and nicotine to need a personal ID before purchase. But innocuous items like whipped cream might only be available for those 21 and over adults to consume. In New York state, a bill passed last year to prevent minors from accessing whipped cream chargers that contain nitrous oxide. But the bill has ensued misinterpretations for businesses across the state.

The whipped-cream law does not restrict sales for businesses selling regular whipped cream. But many stores have understandably misinterpreted the law, stopping minors from purchasing ordinary bottles at supermarkets around the state. The senator behind the bill recently spoke out to quell people’s frustration with the legislation. State Senator Joseph Addabbo publically stated that people of all ages should be able to purchase ordinary whipped cream bottles and that the bill was intended to prevent minors from accessing cartridges that contain the high-inducing gas.

Addabbo’s legislation was specifically to monitor whipped cream chargers and to restrict the number of teens doing “whippets.” Whippets are the colloquial term for consuming nitrous oxide gas and getting a temporary high. This gas, conveniently, is located in aerosol cans like the ones used to contain whipped cream, which is what Addabbo was attempting to limit. Specifically, the NY senator wanted to restrict the sale of whipped cream chargers, allowing empty cans to be refilled with gas. Unfortunately, the law has been misinterpreted and left ordinary New York residents in understandable confusion.

Though the legislation was passed almost a year ago, the bill didn’t cause concern until recently. This is due to no initial promotion by the senate when the bill passed in 2021. For the better part of 2022, businesses weren’t following the law or concerned about its instructions. Kent Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, stated that the “reporting mechanism” that was supposed to occur to publicize the bill never happened. Sorpris said he was unaware of the new law and only started enforcing the restriction two months ago. Now, New York residents with businesses are fumbling over the bill’s convoluted nature.

Failure to publicize the bill in its early stages caused a media panic this month when national and international news sources were reporting on whipped cream that’s unable to be sold to minors. The story unfolded as a “whipped cream ban,” which caught people’s attention nationwide and ushered in Addabbo’s public clarification. Some adults in New York state were reported to have been stopped in the grocery store lines to show their IDs. Many were confused about what they needed identification for but were subsequently notified that buying the tasty topping was the issue. Addabbo recently clarified that ID-ing customers should’ve only happened for those purchasing whipped cream cartridges.

Though Addabbo cleared up the controversy, he’s still frustrated with the misinterpretation of the law. The New York senator recently hopped on Twitter to reiterate his intentions. He wrote that the bill restricted the purchasing of the cartridges for people under 21 and was not meant for minors buying standard whipped cream at the supermarket. He also stated that if businesses continue to card children for buying whipped cream, then “that’s on them.”