Archive image of seized canisters of 'laughing gas'. SUR
21-year-old arrested for selling cannisters of laughing gas in Malaga

21-year-old arrested for selling cannisters of laughing gas in Malaga

The sale of nitrous oxide for recreational use is banned. Spain's Ministry of Health warns it can cause asphyxia and hallucinations and, in severe cases, it can even lead to cardiopulmonary arrest

Europa Press


Friday, 21 June 2024, 08:52

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Local Police officers in Malaga have arrested a 21-year-old man for an alleged crime against public health after witnessing him handing over a bottle of nitrous oxide, also known as 'laughing gas', to another man in exchange for cash.

The transaction involved two cylinders of the gas, according to the Local Police.

The officers carried out a search of the seller, finding 406.50 euros in a bag. In addition, an initial inspection of his vehicle revealed packages of balloons and nozzles.

Police officers proceeded to arrest the young man and took him to the police station where he was placed under judicial custody.

Health risks

Nitrous oxide has anaesthetic, analgesic and dissociative properties. It is commonly used in the medical field, but is also found in some household products. However, its sale for recreational use is prohibited. As a gas, it can be contained in balloons, which are used as reservoirs for inhalation, allowing it to reach the brain through the respiratory system.

Its low cost and availability have contributed to its use among young people. Spain's Ministry of Health warns that its non-medical use poses health risks. It can cause asphyxia, hallucinations, uncontrolled vocalisation, perception alterations, spatial and temporal disorientation, or reduce sensitivity to pain. In severe cases, it can lead to fainting or even cardiopulmonary arrest.

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