Laughing gas canisters which have plagued Southport as a constant reminder of anti social and potentially dangerous drug use may now be banned.

The sight of used up metal canisters scattered on pavements and in parks is now almost a daily occurrence but the British Compressed Gases Association is now calling for them to be banned.

They say it’s because the misuse of nitrous oxide can cause death.

One oblivious Birkdale woman wrote wrote to OTS News with this latest image adding “I thought these kids were blowing up balloons for some kind of party and next thing I know they were stumbling all over the place.”

The trade body representing the UK’s compressed gas industry says the gas is the second-most commonly used substance among 16 to 24-year-olds in England after cannabis, with half a million people having tried it last year.

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) says the misuse of nitrous oxide can cause permanent damage in the central nervous system or paralysis.

The association’s chief executive Ellen Daniels has written to the home secretary calling for a total sales ban on the gas.

“Recreational inhalation abuse of nitrous oxide is prevalent in the UK,” she said.