LANSING — Today, the state House of Representatives passed House Bills 5463-5464, which would limit the sale and distribution of nitrous oxide containers to combat the abuse of these “whip-it” containers, particularly among minors. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that it is used as an inhalant of choice among more than 12 million users in the U.S. In response, state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), sponsor of HB 5463 to prohibit the sale of “whip-its” to minors, issued the following statement:

                “After many conversations with Detroit residents and law enforcement officials and seeing ‘whip-its’ all over parts of Southwest Detroit, it became clear that the misuse of this substance by young people was a pervasive issue in our community, and legislation was necessary. My bill includes measures to protect our young people from falling victim to this addictive substance and hopefully preventing this from becoming a wider health and addiction problem across the state. We know that substance abuse is a big problem in our communities and stopping nitrous oxide from becoming the gateway will make a difference. I appreciate my colleagues voting in favor of our bipartisan bills today. As a result, we are now one step closer to keeping the people of this state, especially our children, safe. I hope the Senate will recognize the urgency of this legislation and act on it quickly.”