Why Nangs Are No Laughing Matter

You’ve probably heard of ‘nangs’, the canisters full of nitrous oxide. The laughing gas can help whip your cream – but when used incorrectly, it can also make you high.

A report for the NSW health department found that recreational use of nitrous oxide may be an emerging problem in Australia.

“It’s not hard to get this across the country,” says LiSTNR reporter Archie Milligan.

“You can get nitrous oxide basically like Uber Eats.”

On today’s episode of The Briefing, Bension Siebert, sits down with Milligan to hear from a nitrous oxide seller who’s using TikTok videos to market their product: 

The substance can be more dangerous than it seems – nangs have contributed to the deaths of 20 people in the last 20 years in Australia, with more potentially not recorded as coronial lab equipment isn’t always up to the task. 

The latest death associated with ‘nangs’ usage occurred last year when a Gold Coast man passed out in a spa pool after inhaling nitrous oxide.

“It’s quite hard because of the way our clinical coding system works and the way that hospitals treat cases like this, as well as the fact that nitrous oxide usually isn’t the killer, it’s the secondary or it’s an aspect of the death,” says Milligan. 

“If we can’t police them, get some of those laws and legislations in place because let’s be honest, no legit bakery or catering service is buying a year’s supply of nitrous oxide at 2am on a Saturday.” 
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