As I walk down the street near Havering Sixth Form College I can’t help but notice these little silver canisters along the road

Nitrous oxide

I’ve been told in the past that these canisters previously contained ‘Nitrous oxide’, also called Laughing Gas, whippits, hippie crack or chargers

When I hear the words ‘Laughing Gas’, my first thoughts are of the dentist in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and as a child laughing gas was more of a joke then an actual drug taken by real life people, but this has all changed recently as it has become easier to order these canisters off the internet.


But what are the effects of nitrous oxide? Well according to FRANK:

Nitrous oxide is depressant-type drug, which means it slows down your brain and your body’s responses.

The effects of nitrous oxide vary depending on how much has been inhaled but they include:

• Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness.
• Dizziness, difficulty in thinking straight and fits of giggles/laughter.
• Sound distortions or even hallucinations.
• In some people, a headache can be an unwanted immediate effect.

So is Nitrous Oxide illegal?

Nitrous oxide is not illegal to possess, but this doesn’t mean that it is safe to use. It is illegal, in England and Wales, for anyone to sell nitrous oxide to people under-18, if they think they’re likely to be inhaling the nitrous oxide.

The risks of Nitrous Oxide may include addiction, unconsciousness and even death from lack of oxygen and so the gas is not the risk free drug it’s often made out to be.

Have you seen Nitrous Oxide use around Havering? For help and for more information go to the Ask Frank Website