The Bavarian state government is examining a ban on the sale of laughing gas

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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The Bavarian state government intends to more closely regulate the sale of laughing gas in the future. The misuse of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for intoxicating purposes is viewed extremely critically due to the associated health risks, which is why a ban is being advocated, said a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health in Munich. How a ban could be implemented in the most sensible way is being examined.

Nitrous oxide is not only used in medicine as an anesthetic, but also in various industries – including as a propellant in spray cans or as a foaming agent in cream dispensing capsules. This should always be taken into account in any ban, he said.

Lauterbach has already announced stricter rules

Nitrous oxide has become increasingly popular as a party drug in recent years. Consumers inhale the euphoric substance through balloons. Nitrous oxide is not yet covered by the narcotics law in Germany; It can be purchased in cartridges in supermarkets, tobacconists or on the Internet.

In order to restrict the sale of laughing gas as a party drug, especially to young people, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) had already stricter rules announced. “We will quickly reach a regulation”, announced Lauterbach.

As one possibility, he cited a proposal from Lower Saxony to add laughing gas to the list of psychoactive substances – with very strict sales rules. The state government of Lower Saxony intends to launch a corresponding Federal Council initiative, and medical associations have already called for legal measures.

Neurological damage and risk of accidents

In addition to the possible neurological damage caused by the consumption of nitrous oxide, experts warn of accidents caused by users of the festive drug. In Munich, around mid-May, a young driver, full of laughing gas, drove his car into the opposite lane and collided with a parked car. According to police, the 19-year-old driver and his passenger, two years younger, inhaled nitrous oxide several times while driving.

A 16-year-old was also there last November fell onto the tracks of a train station in Munich and was hit by an oncoming S-Bahn. According to the Federal Police, the young man had previously consumed laughing gas with an 18-year-old on the train platform. The teenager was hit by the rear of the train and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

With information from dpa

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