Risk of heart problems: Union wants to ban the sale of laughing gas to minors

Risk of heart problems
Union wants to ban the sale of laughing gas to minors

Nitrous oxide is not banned in Germany, but is increasingly being abused as an intoxicant by young people. The substance is not yet listed as a drug and is freely available for sale. The Union faction now wants to change that.

According to a media report, the Union in the Bundestag is calling for a ban on the sale of laughing gas to minors. “Medical anesthetics have no place in children and young people,” said CDU health expert Tino Sorge to the Germany editorial network.

The risk of psychological dependence is considerable; in extreme cases it can lead to fainting, paralysis and heart problems. “The warnings from the medical profession and police circles are clear. That’s why legal regulations should be put in place quickly to prevent the use of laughing gas as a party drug and its distribution to minors,” he said.

Nitrous oxide is nitrous oxide (N2O). Painless surgery became possible for the first time more than 200 years ago with the gas, which has an anesthetic effect in large quantities. Nowadays, other anesthetics are usually used. The German Society for Neurology also recently warned against consumption. Consumption is increasing, particularly among teenagers and young adults.

Call for stricter regulation

In Germany, the sale and consumption of laughing gas is not prohibited. According to the Lower Saxony Medical Association, it is not classified as a drug under the Narcotics Act. In Gifhorn near Wolfsburg, a vending machine with laughing gas bottles next to sweets and disposable e-cigarettes is causing protests.

The city parents’ council has called on the local authorities to take action against the machines near a school and daycare center. The members also wrote a letter to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach from the SPD. “We have to ask ourselves why the sale of such dangerous substances is permitted near children and young people and are calling for the relevant regulations to be reviewed and tightened,” said Christoph Fink from the committee. Several media outlets had previously reported on the laughing gas from the machine.

General practitioners are also calling for stricter regulation. “The sale of laughing gas should be regulated much more strictly, as is already the case in other European countries,” said the federal chairwoman of the General Practitioners Association, Nicola Buhlinger-Göpfarth, to the RND. Children and young people in particular need to be better protected.

source site-34