TACKLING NITROUS OXIDE ABUSE
WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING
I first spoke out about the use of nitrous oxide by young people in 2020 when I held an Adjournment Debate on raising the legal age of purchasing it. This was because many constituents in Whitstable contacted me about the steep increase in littering associated with use of the gas during the early stages of the pandemic. Since then, the problem has greatly increased.
Right across Canterbury, Whitstable and our villages and throughout the country, it has become a significant blight on communities, with an associated increase in anti-social behaviour. What’s more, nitrous oxide can have significant effects on younger users’ health, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, unconsciousness, and in more extreme cases, brain injury.
In April, following the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Review, I asked at Prime Minister’s Questions what action the Government were planning to take. I reinforced the point that what the Government needs to do is not criminalise young people, but to crack down on those who are selling cannisters to young people without any ID checks.
I support the Government’s decision to categorise Nitrous Oxide as a Class C drug. However, cuts to Local Government since 2010 will make this ban incredibly hard to enforce. I will continue to press the Government on how they will support councils and others to ensure that nitrous oxide usage in the community is significantly reduced.
If nitrous oxide abuse is still an issue in your community, please either contact my office at [email protected] or use the contact form at the bottom of the page.
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As your MP for Canterbury, I can help constituents on various issues, such as education, the environment, health and social services, highways, transport, and housing.
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