“There has been a misrepresentation of the language and intent of the bill. My bill is not intended to prevent people under the age of 21 from buying whipped cream dispensers but the small, individual charger or cartridge inside the whipped cream canisters that is the target of the law,” he said in a statement.
Addabbo’s clarification follows reporting from the Albany Times Union on Monday claiming New York was to begin enforcing the 2021 law Addabbo sponsored last year.
“Nitrous oxide is a legal chemical for legitimate professional use, but when used improperly, it can be extremely lethal,” Addabbo said in a statement last year.
The reason it’s now being enforced in 2022 is due to “some sort of reporting mechanism that just didn’t go the way it was supposed to,” Kent Sopris, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, told the Times Union.
“We had been tracking the bill last year, and when I looked in the bill-tracking file, there is just no indication that it was signed,” Sopris added.
The bill, Addabbo said, is focused solely on the chargers in whipped cream dispensers.
“The bill specifically reads, ‘the term “whipped cream charger” shall mean a steel cylinder or cartridge filled with nitrous oxide (N2O) that is used as a whipping agent in a whipped cream dispenser,'” he said in another part of his statement Monday,
While whipped cream is unharmful in proper culinary use, teenagers have caught on to the nitrous oxide gas located in the very chargers Addabbo was referring to. The gas can produce a high when inhaled.
There’s even a name for the recreational use of the drug — “whippets.”
According to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration fact sheet, inhalants such as whippets can cause “damage to the parts of the brain that control thinking, moving, vision, and hearing.” According to the DEA, one in five young people have used whippets by the time they reach the eighth grade.
“Sadly, young people buy and inhale this gas to get ‘high’ because they mistakenly believe it is a ‘safe’ substance. This law will eliminate easy access to this dangerous substance for our youth,” Addabbo said last year when the legislation was passed.
Retailers caught selling the charger located in the canned good to minors face a $250 fine for the first offense, and $500 if caught a second time.