26 Aug 2022

According to a report by the BBC, laughing gas cannisters, are one of the most widely used recreational drugs by young people in the UK. It is said that they are continuing to rise in popularity and the cannisters are getting bigger and bigger.

The small silver cannisters, also known as Nos or Nitrous Oxide, holding around 8g (0.28oz) of the substance, are being swapped to a supersize version, around 80 times bigger.

Experts say that supersize ones can pose more of a risk as it can lead to people using higher and more dangerous quantities.

Although not illegal the gas cannisters can have detrimental effects. A young girl the BBC interviewed used the larger gas cannisters but spoke about how she felt she couldn’t judge how much she was inhaling and preferred the smaller size. Her prolonged use of the smaller laughing gas cannisters has now left her unable to move or have any sensation in her legs.

She spoke about other side effects from using the gas ranging from vomiting, sweating, suppressing her appetite and insomnia.

Currently in the UK, being in possession of a larger cannister isn’t illegal or against the law. A government commissioned review is assessing whether further action is needed.

Many youngsters using the larger size Nos can find it available from people on social media. The smaller size can be bought on internet giants such as Amazon and eBay, although these are advertised as only being sold for food preparation.

The Mirror said they found a Smartwhip available from £33.99 for a single canister to £149.99 for a pack of six on Amazon and eBay.

Amazon said: “Our selling guidelines make it clear that nitrous oxide canisters are only allowed to be sold in our store if they are intended for food preparation. We have a number of proactive measures to prevent abuse. ”

An eBay spokesman said: “We do not prohibit the sale of these products because they have legitimate uses in commercial catering applications.

“However, we do remove listings that refer to any illicit uses.”

Police have said the increased use of laughing gas isn’t a top priority at the moment. However, they take the situation seriously and the government are looking into more rules or restrictions on the larger gas cannisters.

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