REPORTS of young people inhaling so-called “laughing gas” in Caerphilly have prompted police to warn of the dangers of the substance.

Nitrous oxide is a gas with legitimate uses, and when inhaled it can make people feel euphoric and relaxed. But some people have adverse reactions such as hallucinations, dizziness and difficulty in thinking straight.

Along with sightings of youngsters using the gas, there have also been numerous empty canisters found discarded in the area.

And now Gwent Police are warning that inhaling the gas carries a risk of death, as a lack of oxygen may occur when using nitrous oxide. This risk is increased if the gas is consumed in an enclosed space, or if it quickly consumed.

Police sergeant Andy Elias said: “Young people may think it’s just a bit of fun but it can be hard to judge the amount to use safely and too much you can end up fainting, having an accident or much worse.

PS Elias added that mixing the gas with alcohol further increases its risk.