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‘It was never the intent of banning some minor who wants to bake a cake’: Senator Addabbo sets the record straight on whipped cream cartridge ban

State Senator Addabbo
Whipped cream cartridges (Photo courtesy of state Senator Joseph Addabbo)

Minors are not banned from buying cans of whipped cream in New York, says state Senator Joseph Addabbo, who is setting the record straight on a misinterpretation of a bill introduced last year.

The bill, sponsored by Addabbo in November 2021, banned the sale of whipped cream cartridges, not cans of whipped cream. The bill’s summary states that it “prohibits the sale of whipped cream chargers to persons under the age of 21.”

The whipped cream cartridges contain nitrous oxide, which is known to cause limb spasms, hearing loss, brain damage, suffocation or heart failure when inhaled, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“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 in a press release last year.

Addabbo told QNS that the wording of the bill has been misinterpreted and that he will work with the attorney general’s office to ensure clarification.

“It was never the intent of banning some minor who wants to bake a cake,” Addabbo said. “It’s a misinterpretation of the bill … Yes, a 16-year-old or minor can buy a whipped cream canister. You have to refer to it as a whipped cream charger or cartridge; that’s the name.”

Addabbo said his involvement with the bill began last year when he received a complaint from a constituent that the cartridges were littered outside her home.

Whipped cream cartridges that were littered on streets. (Photo courtesy of Senator Joseph Addabbo)

The senator said when he researched the non-flammable gas and realized its dangers, he began to work on the bill.

“When you buy these cartridges — which [are] neon pink and neon green with fancy lettering — manufacturers [are] actually marketing it toward the minor. You can buy them by the dozen, and they were being sold in convenience stores,” Addabbo said.

Addabbo is taking this opportunity to raise awareness of the dangers of nitrous oxide despite all the misconceptions about the legislation.

“Since we introduced the bill last November, we’ve gotten no complaints from constituents,” Addabbo said.

Addabbo believes that the confusion might have come about due to other areas in New York state not having experience with this issue.

“Places upstate, they didn’t have this problem with the canisters, so that was the misinterpretation,” Addabbo said. “Eight months later, nine months later, it’s now being interpreted differently or wrongfully.”

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