LANSING (WWJ) – The state House has overwhelmingly passed a bi-partisan proposal to ban the sale of “whip-its” to minors.
WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports this isn’t about the popular dog breed, but about whip-it chargers, which are small metal cartridges full of nitrous oxide — so named due to their use in whipped cream canisters.
“According to Detroit and suburban lawmakers, what kids are doing is they’re snorting this stuff, and it can cause brain damage,” Skubick said. “Now, they’re perfectly legal; they’re on the market, you can buy at your local gas station, your local liquor store.”
The legislation, which passed 104 to 3, was sponsored by Rep. Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe) along with Rep. Stephanie Chang, who found multiple cartridges outside her campaign office and wondered what they were.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a “whip-it” container is the inhalant of choice among more than 12 million users in the U.S.
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say inhaling nitrous oxide causes a sense of euphoria that lasts about 15 to 45 minutes; and the high can be prolonged by continued use.
Most inhalant users report starting using before age 15, as inhalants are often the easiest options for children seeking to use drugs. For many kids, inhalants provide a cheap and accessible alternative to alcohol or marijuana. [Learn more about inhalant abuse here].