Delay in laughing gas crack down nothing to smile about

Tower Hamlets Council has finally started an attempt to tackle the plague of nitrous oxide (NO2) or laughing gas canisters that litter the borough.

Used nitrous oxide (NO2) or laughing gas canisters in Wapping

The press statement for the ‘No Laughing Matter’ campaign tells us that groups of people using laughing gas can cause noise nuisance and is also a litter problem because small metal canisters containing it are often left on the floor and there have been reports of people taking it while behind the wheel of a car.

Yes, we know.

Completely off his head

Just under a year ago LW watched as one local thug drove round Wapping repeatedly completely off his head on laughing gas and failed to get any response even after dialling 999 – Residents of Wapping, is silver BMW YJ 63 HTX parked in your street? (3 September 2016)

Last year LW watched as the driver of this vehicle raced around Wapping only stopping to inhale more laughing gas.

Other stories we have written about this problem include:

Many more stories could have been published but to be honest we just gave up as there seemed to be a distinct lack of meaningful action by the authorities.

Car crashes linked to laughing gas use

And let’s not forget the curse of the speeding cars and the resulting crashes, at least one of which seemed to be directly linked to use of laughing oxide.

The occupants of this car that crashed in Wapping High Street last year were believed to be under the influence of laughing gas.


This was just some of the damage they caused by the crash in Wapping High Street last year. Two BMWs written off.

No laughing matter

The ‘No Laughing Matter’ initiative will include:

  • Educating people about what the substance is and the risks to health
  • Urging residents to report traders selling it for human consumption so they can be tackled by trading standards and the police.
  • Providing residents with ways to report discarded canisters so they can be collected
  • Talking to school children about the dangers of nitrous oxide

Problem is that it is still legal to use laughing gas for ‘recreational purposes’.

LW Comment

It’s great to see something being done about this problem but it would have been even better if this had happened 12 months ago.

Until the law is changed to make use of laughing gas for recreational purposes illegal the little metal canisters will still litter the streets.



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