Increase in use of laughing gas prompts warning from police

An image released by police of nitrous oxide canisters and a dispenser.

An image released by police of nitrous oxide canisters and a dispenser. - Credit: Archant

Police in Ely are urging parents to be aware of the dangers of youngsters taking ‘laughing gas’.

Officers say the practice of inhaling nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, is “becoming increasingly popular” in East Cambridgeshire and warned that consuming it was “harming users”.

According to the Government-backed drug advice service Frank, nitrous oxide is normally bought in pressured canisters. The gas is commonly transferred to a container, such as a balloon or canister, from which the gas is inhaled.

This week officers issued advice and pictures to parents, to help them look out for the tell-tale signs of nitrous oxide use.

Cambridgeshire police said: “Officers are finding increasing evidence that this [inhaling laughing gas] is becoming popular, such as empty canisters. Last week officers confiscated an amount from a group of youths.

“It is not illegal to possess however it is illegal to sell for human consumption. Our priority is to get this message out as there is concern that consumption of this gas is harming its users.”

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