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Laughing gas drug kit bought from Amazon delivered in two days

PUBLISHED: 12:19 15 October 2012 | UPDATED: 13:30 16 October 2012

The nitrous oxide kit when it was delivered to the Ham&High office

The nitrous oxide kit when it was delivered to the Ham&High office

Archant

The website Amazon is selling laughing gas and all the equipment needed to inhale it as a party drug without any warning, the Ham&High has discovered.

This week the Ham&High managed to buy nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas, on the popular website and have it delivered to our offices – to show how readily available it is online.

The popular drug is often inhaled at clubs, parties and festivals by breathing in the gas from a balloon filled with nitrous oxide from a whipped cream charger.

By simply typing the words “laughing gas” into Amazon’s search engine, everything you would need to take the legal high is listed without any warnings.

Rival website eBay stated the substance was not to be inhaled.

Amazon even suggested customers buy the whole kit together for one single price – which included a cream dispenser, a box of nitrous oxide chargers and a packet of balloons.

Our kit cost £42.74 but nitrous oxide cartridges can cost as little as 50p each.

Within two days the equipment was delivered to the office – no questions asked.

Two weeks ago, 17-year-old University College School (UCS) student Joseph Benett, known as Joe, is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest after inhaling laughing gas with his friends.

The teenager, of West Heath Drive, lay in a coma for four weeks before dying on September 27.

Hampstead parent Anthony Casingena, whose son was a close friend of Joseph’s, said it was “terrifying” that nitrous oxide can be bought so easily online.

“There has to be stricter guidelines,” said the father. “There also has to be more education, at home and in schools.

“Young people have to realise the risks. I think these substances should be removed where possible from websites.”

When asked if he was shocked that the laughing gas kit was delivered within days, he said: “It is every parent’s worst nightmare. I find it terrifying.

“My son has been incredibly upset by the event of the last month. Everyone who knew Joe will know that he was a lovely, creative boy and a great laugh.

“It’s awful what has happened and more needs to be done to make sure this never happens again.”

Joseph’s headteacher Kenneth Durham also called for stricter guidelines, saying: “Joe’s death was a dreadful tragedy. He died as a result of an awful accident.

“I am no expert in the pathology of laughing gas. I would welcome clearer guidelines from authorities that would help us in the education of youngsters so we might avoid the repeat of such a tragedy.”

When the Ham&High asked Amazon why it allows laughing gas to be sold without any warnings it failed to respond.

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