The latest seizure of 59,000 nitrous oxide canisters worth €1.9m brings the total amount of cannisters seized this year to almost 140,000, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins said, “I was recently informed by PQ that over 80,000 nitrous oxide canisters had been seized this year up until September. This week’s latest seizure has almost doubled that figure.
“This mammoth seizure is yet more evidence of the growing issue with nitrous oxide misuse that we have in Ireland.
“Inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it’s known, is not just a bit of fun. It has been linked to a number of deaths in the UK and we’re seeing increased hospitalisation rates in Ireland.
“Easy access is a huge issue. It’s far too straightforward for anyone of any age with access to the internet to pop online and order nitrous oxide to their home in a couple of clicks.
“I welcomed Amazon’s decision earlier this year to stop advertising nitrous oxide and I have called on Google to do the same.
“In my view, it’s unacceptable that any company should profiteer from this growing problem by selling ads for nitrous oxide gas canisters. I recently wrote to Google to ask them to take action urgently.
“Education and awareness are also factors and I think we must inform young people of the associated dangers of nitrous oxide. People who inhale the gas can experience dizziness, disorientation, impaired memory, as well as incidents tripping and falling.
“I commend the Gardaí and Revenue officers on this seizure and continuing to take nitrous oxide mis-use very seriously,” concluded Deputy Higgins.