There’s been a lot made of laughing gas in the media recently. Footballers such as Jordan Ibe and Raheem Sterling have attracted negative publicity for consuming laughing gas, also known as ‘hippy crack’ but are there any real dangers?
Well, first let’s focus on what laughing gas is; nitrous oxide. N2O can in extreme cases cause unconsciousness, so yes it can be dangerous, while there have been cases of nerve damage. That said, the main effect is just dizziness and a difficulty to think straight, so it’s relatively low risk. Many festivals have, however, implemented bans on laughing gas, even though they are classed as a ‘legal high’, and that includes the likes of T in the Park, Bestival and Secret Garden Party.
A 2013 report in 2013 stated that around 350,000 people had used laughing gas at some stage, and it’s seemingly growing in popularity, but we probably won’t see many more footballers photographed inhaling it – they are rolemodels after all!