Discarded laughing gas canisters are becoming an increasingly familiar sight on our pavements and in our parks. These small steel bottles contain nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ which has become a recreational drug of choice for party and festival-goers.
Nitrous oxide is a light anaesthetic in dentistry or to charge whipped cream aerosols. As a drug, the gas it provides is transferred from the canister into a balloon and inhaled. The high that users get is brief, so you’ll often find a large number of discarded canisters in the same place.