A NEW campaign highlighting the dangers of Nitrous Oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas will see Costa vouchers up for grabs.

The campaign has started across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse and it will see #NoLaughingMatter stencils painted across the districts and an online quiz, with a £25 Nando’s or Costa voucher up for grabs.

Laughing gas is the second most used recreational drug among young people in the UK aged 16-24.

It is a psychoactive substance – when inhaled it slows down the body’s response time, which can lead to fits of laughter, dizziness and feeling relaxed. However, it can also cause paranoia, hallucinations, and headaches, and if too much laughing gas is inhaled, the user could suffer shortness of breath or even pass out, potentially putting their life at risk. When discarded in public areas, the cannisters also cause a litter nuisance.

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The #NoLaughingMatter campaign has been launched to raise awareness of laughing gas and the risks of using it.

Councillor Maggie Filipova-Rivers said: “Using Nitrous Oxide may seem relatively harmless, however a few minutes of fun from these cannisters can put peoples’ long-term health at risk and potentially have even more serious consequences. When that happens it really is No Laughing Matter, so it is important that people are more aware of the dangers, particularly young people who may be under more pressure to try these substances.”

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