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Warning of worrying new ‘noz’ trend

Times Echo and Life / All News / Warning of worrying new ‘noz’ trend
18 days, 21 hours agoNo Comments.
6 MAY

Warning of worrying new ‘noz’ trend

By timesecholife on in All News, Uttoxeter news

Large containers of nitrous oxide found at a village near Uttoxeter could be part of a ‘worrying’ new trend. The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA), said people misusing nitrous oxide – also known as noz, balloons and laughing gas – were buying the gas in containers 70 times larger than previously.

Large containers of nitrous oxide found at a village near Uttoxeter could be part of a ‘worrying’ new trend.

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA), said people misusing nitrous oxide – also known as noz, balloons and laughing gas – were buying the gas in containers 70 times larger than previously.

In January, three large containers were discovered by a volunteer-litter picker in Stramshall.

The BCGA warned that the shift from 8g cartridges to canisters of 560g or more, posed an increased risk to people misusing ‘laughing gas.’

Alma Crosby discovered the large ‘industrial-sized’ containers while out picking litter in January, having previously found out about the misuse of nitrous oxide after previously discovering around 20 discarded 8g canisters.

At the time, Alma said: “I was shocked to be honest.

When I saw the first large white canister, I thought it was something that had perhaps fallen out of a plumber’s van. These were industrial size.

I was worried in case a small child had found the canisters as they are potentially flammable and also that people have been misusing nitrous oxide and then driving through the village. I just think everyone should be aware.”

Currently, nitrous oxide can be bought in shops or online, but since March 2020, BCGA has been campaigning for a ban on retail sales, making the product unavailable to the general public, while protecting access for legitimate uses in industry and healthcare.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2019, revealed half a million young people had misused nitrous oxide and that it was included on the death certificate in 12% of substance-related deaths.

Ellen Daniels, BCGA chief executive, said: “The sight of small silver canisters left as litter is an indicator that nitrous oxide has been misused, but discarded containers of 560g or larger is a new and worrying trend.

Nitrous oxide is often trivialised through slang terms such as laughing gas, balloons and noz, but inhaling this gas can be highly dangerous – even fatal in some cases.

We’re calling on the Government to introduce a ban on consumer sales of nitrous oxide to make it less easy for people to purchase, but allow for legitimate uses in the medical, food, chemical and sports industries.”

BCGA was instrumental in working with Government to include Nitrous Oxide in the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, which outlawed the ‘knowing or reckless’ supply of Nitrous Oxide for inhalation.

A leaflet about nitrous oxide misuse has been produced by BCGA and is available from the trade body’s website: www.bcga.co.uk

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