A WARNING has been issued about the risks of the recreational use of ‘hippy crack’.
It comes as a large nitrous oxide canisters were found on Bradshawgate in the town last Sunday morning.
Bolton Council which issued the warning said that the canisters discovered were the size of a small fire extinguisher, which can hold approximately two litres of gas.
These are much bigger than the typical small silver canisters usually associated with nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas.
Council chiefs say that the use of laughing gas is increasingly common despite it being illegal for recreational use.
Use of the gas can cause serious immediate and long-term damage to health and can even be fatal.
The canisters containing the gas are also damaging to the environment.
Cllr Hilary Fairclough, Executive Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services said: “In addition to the physical effects on the body, there are psychological impacts from these banned substances.
“As with the abuse of any substance, users can develop addictions which can send their life on a downward spiral.
"There may be a misconception that this is a safe alternative to other illegal drugs but that is not the case. It’s important people understand that laughing gas can be as harmful and fatal as other banned substances.”
Bolton Council Trading Standards has carried out a number of raids on shops believed to be selling the canisters for recreational use, rather than for baking, which is what they are intended for.
The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 prohibits businesses to sell nitrous oxide gas canisters for the purpose of inhalation.
Anyone who sees these canisters being sold in Bolton is urged to contact Bolton Council Trading Standards [email protected]