Bury North MP James Daly has backed the government’s move to ban the sale of laughing gas, which is “plaguing our streets”.

The Conservative politician said people across the borough have been in touch with him over the “widespread problem” of laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide canisters.

As well as potential health risks, cannisters are often seen dumped on the ground, much to residents' frustrations.

The drug is one of the most used among 16 to 24-year-olds and it is included as an anaesthetic in medical and dental contexts and as a gas for whipped cream.

Current legislation bans the knowing or reckless supply of nitrous oxide for inhalation, with dealers facing up to seven years in jail.

But there have been calls for a ban on all direct consumer sales.

Prolonged use can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia and nerve damage and doctors have previously warned that using laughing gas could lead to spinal injuries.

The ban comes despite an assessment by the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) concluding it would be disproportionate to bring in an outright ban given the level of harm associated with nitrous oxide.

But Mr Daly is in favour of the decision.

He said: “People across Bury have contacted me rightly concerned about the widespread problem with the nitrous oxide canisters that plaguing our streets.

“This ban sends a clear message that our community will not tolerate this behaviour and it is absolutely correct that we are delivering action on this issue.”

Bury Times: Bury North MP James DalyBury North MP James Daly (Image: James Daly)

The laughing gas ban is part of a raft of measures being rolled out to crackdown on anti-social behaviour across the country.

Last week, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the “scourge” of nitrous oxide is turning public spaces into “drug-taking arenas” and is helping fuel anti-social behaviour that ministers are determined to stamp out.

Mr Daly added: “The ban is just one part of the government's Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan that will make sure perpetrators face swift and visible justice.

“We are giving the police and local authorities the tools they need to clamp down on these crimes, including increasing the punishment for those who graffiti, litter or fly-tip.”