The Dixon Smoke Shop Sells Whipped Cream Cartridges: Is That a Problem?

A concerned Dixon High parent contacted Dixon Patch after finding his son was in possession of nitrous oxide-charged whipped cream cartridges that can been used as potentially deadly inhalants.

Dixon Patch editor Justin Cox contributed to this story. 

Have you ever had real dairy, fresh whipped cream, made at places like Starbucks? Have you seen them make it?

They pour manufacturing cream (heavy whipping cream), vanilla flavored syrup, screw on the lid, then screw on a small nitrous oxide cartridge that injects the gas, which fluffs the cream creating instant whip whipped cream. Delicious.

But why am I writing you an article on how to make whipped cream, you ask? Because in the wrong hands, that cartridge can be deadly inhalant drug.

What are Whip-its?

Dixon Patch received an email from a concerned Dixon High School parent who recently found a box of these unusual nitrous oxide cartridge products in his senior's bedroom. His student told him he had purchased them at the Dixon Smoke Shop on Ary Lane, where he had also been given balloons in order to use them for an inhalation high.

Although the parent makes clear that his son is 18 years old, which is of legal age to buy them, some still may wonder why a smoke shop is selling whipped cream cartridges. 

So I (Lindsey) drove over to the Dixon Smoke Shop at 1440 Ary Lane, which is ironically the tenant of same building in which I spent years making whipped cream as a Java California barista.

Brands including Whip-It!, Whip Cream Chargers, and Gourmet 24 were stacked in a display case right next to products that read "Pass Your Drug Tests Guaranteed", "Herbal Clean Formula", "Drug Test Kit", "Quick Fix Plus", an entire wall of "water pipes," blown glass pipes, a display of straight-edge razors and many other products one might be surprised to find a smoke shop with cigars on their business cards. 

Being that I was there to find out specifically about Whip-It!, I asked the clerk, "How do I use these?" Expecting a vague, "you make whipped cream" kind of thing. I was quite engaged by his response.

"You need a device to puncture them," he responded, "I sell two different types. This one is $6.99 (he shows me a small metal device that you place the cartridge into with 2 holes on top) and you hold a balloon on top and fill it with the gas, then suck the air from the balloon. The other type is $60 (he shows me a whipped cream maker) and you just twist the cartridge on and suck the gas from the top with the lever. Its easier but costs more."

I left, purchasing a box of 24 Whip-It!s for $11.99 (for an actual whipped cream maker I own and use to make whipped cream with).

My ID was not checked, but I probably look over 18. The side of my box reads "Do not inhale, Danger to health",  "Keep out of reach of children", "N20 cartridges are to be used for food consumption only and are not for sale to minors under the age of 18."

Personal Responsibility 

I (Justin) went to the Dixon Smoke Shop Tuesday to ask a few questions about Whip-its. The clerk, who said he'd rather not have his name printed, said you can also find the cartridges at Safeway and Walmart. After some investigating, we learned that this is not true. The only place you can buy the cartridges in dixon is from the Dixon Smoke Shop. 

You can, however, find them on Amazon and other websites. 

"It's not like just we sell it," he said, noting that they have a business license on file and the City of Dixon knows what they sell. "We also sell knives. You can buy a lot of things. It's your responsibility." 

The Dixon Smoke Shop does not allow anybody under the age of 18 into the store unless they are accompanied by a parent. They have several signs making this clear. The son of the concerned Dixon High parent is 18 years old, so the Smoke Shop didn't break any laws as far as we can tell. 

Still, what do you think of the fact that a smoke shop sells whipped cream cartridges as well as the necessary tools to get high with those cartridges? Is it fair as long as they stay within the law, or do you have a problem with it? 

Whip-it Trend Growing

This ABC News report from back in March says Whip-its are making a comeback among teenagers and young adults, in part because they're so accessible. Demi Moore reportedly used them prior to being rushed to the hospital earlier this year as well. 

"The most recent figures show that Whip-Its have become the most popular recreational inhalant of choice, with over 12 million users in the U.S. who have tried it at least once," ABC quotes the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

Do you know much about the drug? Share your thoughts below. 

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Larry Erwin August 21, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Well let's out law cars, if your high school student locks themselves in the garage and starts the car then can die of Co2. While your jumping over board better out law cancer, west Nile, life that kills you in the end!
Justin Cox (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 11:31 PM
That's exactly the point the store owner makes, and it's definitely a valid one. But the car comparison isn't perfect, because the store is selling a cake-frosting tool in a smoke shop. Although it's unspoken, it's clear that the purpose is to get high. There's a worthwhile dialog to be had.
Barbara B August 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The clerk's mistake is giving instructions for the illegitimate use of the product. This establishment is surely a head shop, not a smoke shop. If I'm the Dixon Police, I'm keeping a close eye on that place from now on.
Carlos Villatoro August 22, 2012 at 08:35 AM
I wonder if any other parent has had problems with this in their homes? If they saw the cans, would they know what they are for?
Jack August 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM
In order to protect your children you should: 1) Stop stores from selling legal products because your children might misuse them to their detriment. 2) Stop the library from offering any book you don't think your child (or anyone else's child) should read. 3) Demand the removal of any teacher who discounts the talking snake story in Genisis. OR 1) Teach you children to think for themselves and to understand and respect your values and then (this is the hard part) trust them to do what is right.
Erin August 22, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I think as a community we should be concerned. I'm not saying the business should be closed down or anything. How can we say that this shop doesn't sell to anyone under 18? They didn't check Lindsay's ID even though she may look over 21. I still get carded for buying alcohol sometimes even though I'm almost 40. I'm glad this was brought to my attention so I can prepare myself and my children for these types of situations. Do kids get carded for buying cigrettes? I don't know since I don't smoke. Thanks for writing this story.
Marcie Azeve August 22, 2012 at 07:10 PM
While as a parent I appreciate the information, I have to wonder why this one business is being singled out for selling a product legally - to adults (just like Easy Whip's website does). If the intention was to inform the community where kids may be getting their hands on this, then research as to other businesses in town who also sell the product should have been completed before posting this article. I, frankly, am ok with it being sold in a shop you have to be 18 (or with your parents) to enter. While I don't use any tobacco products & have never been in this shop myself, I would hate to see a small business maligned when there is no evidence it has done anything wrong.
ANNETTE THIBODEAU August 22, 2012 at 07:12 PM
There is no question this store sells products that are perfectly legal but without a doubt there is no question with the papers, glass pipes and whip it's this store is enabling drug use. And should never been allowed to open.
Bob Oliver August 22, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Quite a few times I heard a friends son complain that the other clerk at the smoke shop wouldn't let him go in and buy tobacco but if the owner was in he could. While I understand you have to teach your kids what's right, part of the beauty of growing up in a small town enviroment is being able to trust others in the community to let you know if they see your kid doing something wrong, and to be able to trust store owners not to sell your kids drugs and alcohol. While I understand the value of personal responsability. Why is personal responsibility limited to the parents and their kids and not to the shop owners.... Oh wait... If a store knowingly sells you something like that and you are injured or killed because of it (especially if you are under 18) then the store owner's responsiblity becaomes the responsibility of 12 of their peers and the court system and later a cellmate named bubba that thinks they look purdy in just the right light..
JimmyJohns August 22, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Actually it is Nitrous Oxide not nitrogen-charged, if you are going report – please be correct. This is same thing you get at the dentist.
Lindsey Hickman August 22, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Just as back up information, I did research to make sure there is not another store in Dixon that sells them. I stopped at all of the liquor stores and big name stores and the N2O cartridges are not available. The Dixon Smoke Shop is the only business in town where they are available.
Lindsey Hickman August 22, 2012 at 09:07 PM
You are correct the typo has been corrected.
J.r. Hesseltine August 22, 2012 at 09:07 PM
i think this should fall right back onto the parents the kid is 18 and able to buy this type of product so its the same as if the dad found a pack of smokes he should have asked questions to his son and handled it with his son i wonder if his son might have to much free time on his hands maybe he needs to be studying more or better yet getting a job !!!
Justin Cox (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Lindsey actually insisted from the start that they could not be purchased anywhere else in Dixon. She makes cakes professionally and has to buy the cartridges on occasion. I wanted to check, however, since the clerk went out of his way to say that they could be purchased at other spots in town. The story has been updated.
Bil Paul August 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Dixon's own Head Shop, imported from Haight Street. I wonder if they've thought of medical marijuana.
julia Milligan- King August 22, 2012 at 10:11 PM
one of the reasons I like this small town is because we can have a dialog about a potential problem like the "whip its" and make parents and citizens aware of it. Everyone will be passing this info around and for some it will be a notice that they can find the product locally, but for others it will help them keep their children safe and themselves informed and involved. We shop at the smokeshop as it is the only place that has the loose pipe tobacco my husband likes, but with some gentle public pressure they might stop selling the canisters. after all they sell them because someone buys them.
Maggie August 28, 2012 at 04:59 AM
It bothers me that this shop exists at all. It wouldn't matter what town it was in. They obviously sell items that are for drug use. How awful that they actually instruct their costumers on how to use 'Whip Its' to get high when right on the package it says "Danger to health, Do not inhale". How sad that that the owners/ employees are willing to sell items that could harm people just to make a few bucks.
Amos Moses December 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
The head shop owner is no more liable for the use of his product than any other business is. Car dealers will sell you a car that exceeds the speed limit and, like the shop owner, discuss with you how to use their product inappropriately. A couple deaths from nitrous (usually from stolen medical tanks rather than from whippits) doesn't even come close to the 30.000 deaths per year from automobile use. Do you want to hound the car dealers out of business as you seem to want to hound the head shop owner out of business?
blowie January 18, 2013 at 06:14 PM
why dont you guys go try some whip its. that nice person brought that 24 pack home. I'm sure more than a few went missing.
blowie January 18, 2013 at 06:16 PM
better stop selling cigarettes. people have to impede rights.


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