SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Police departments are calling attention to a dangerous situation and it comes from something most people would never suspect.
It’s typically used to top off your favorite dessert. But teenagers are using whipped cream canisters for huffing. Southwest Harbor Police Department is now urging parents to talk to teenagers about the harmful affects.
“It’s cheap, it’s a quick high and you can get several highs out of one can,” said Lt. Michael Miller.
Not only can it practically be found in any store, teenagers can get their hands on one of these cans for about $3.
“They hold the can upright, so none of the whipped cream comes out and you put it in your mouth and nose and huff it,” said Miller.
It may seem fun for the first 30 seconds. But huffing whipped cream could cause nausea and even make someone pass out. Those are just the short term effects.
“The main concern is if someone is driving down the road, which they do quite often, they’ll have a few cans with them and start huffing,” he said.
“From what I heard, one time could kill you,” said Sandy Gray, the assistant manager at Southwest Food Mart, “That’s what I heard. It’s scary.”
Police are spotting empty cans lying around Southwest Harbor, including near local stores.
“Like 4-6 cans at a time sometimes,” she said.
Those working in markets are concerned about how they can regulate the situation.
“For all I know they could be having a birthday party or an ice cream social,” said Gray, “There’s a lot of events like that around here, but there are some repeat costumers that come in here quite often. I suspect that it’s not being used for that.”
“I would say if someone is purchasing a large amount of whipped cream and it doesn’t’ feel right, they can question that,” said Miller.
Even if they could, clerks are saying that it probably won’t solve the problem.
“I think they will just go on to the next thing after that, they’ll find something else,” said Gray.
Everyone agrees that it starts with communication.
“Be aware of it,” she said, “I hope everyone is aware that it’s not a good thing. Do talk to your children and grandchildren.