Last week both Channel 7 News and The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reported on the use of whipped cream canisters to achieve nitrous oxide highs. Although the trend is arguably not as new – or as sinister – as the two mainstream media outlets make it out to be, claims made by the SMH about the role of convenience stores in selling the canisters should be addressed.

Jeff Rogut, CEO of AACS, has the following advice for convenience retailers: “whilst it is legal to sell these nitrous oxide bulbs for the purpose intended, the convenience industry does try to be responsible retailers at all times, and if stores are stocking them, at a minimum they should not be selling these to minors and if in any doubt should request proof of age. The real sales volume for their legitimate use is relatively small through our type of stores, so rather than get into any arguments with customers about their sale, I would recommend not stocking these items. The decision however is up to the individual retailers and customers have personal responsibility for their choices. A good source of information on the effects of nitrous oxide may be found at: http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/drug-facts/nitrous-oxide.”

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