Saturday, 27 July 2013

"the key ingredient of cigarette lighters"

Abuse of lighter fluid 'is killing record numbers'

Last week campaigners released a report revealing that butane was now the leading "legal high" killer in the UK and is claiming the lives of more than 40 people a year.

"In the early 1990s, we showed deaths [from 'volatile substances' - glue and aerosols, etc.] involving mostly youngsters had reached a peak of more than 150 a year," analytical toxicologist John Ramsey, of St George's University, London said.

Following the release of these figures, the Department of Health launched campaigns to help parents to pinpoint adolescents at risk. Adverts were put in women's magazines and leaflets distributed in doctors' surgeries. The campaign worked well and deaths from volatile substance abuse fell to about 50 a few years later.

However, the numbers of deaths from volatile substance abuse – of which butane sniffing forms the vast majority – have remained static since then, Ramsey has found, although there has been a significant change in the pattern of deaths.

The problem now affects far fewer teenagers and has instead become an issue for young adults.

"The problem with a substance like butane is that it gives you a quick hit that leaves you wiped out for a couple of minutes," said Ream.  "Then you recover in another 10 or 15 minutes. In addition, it is very, very cheap. It's just lighter fuel, after all. The trouble is that every so often it will simply kill you."

As a result, groups like Re-Solv are pressing supermarkets to limit sales of butane to single purchases. 

"The trouble is that it is very difficult to control sales at little corner stores," said Ream. "We really need better government controls – and the restoration of funds so we can keep monitoring this problem."


Mark In Mayenne said...

Ah yes, we need the restoration of funds. Quelle surprise!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Oh bloody hell, one of my bi-annual shppping trips is to the pound shop to get five packs of six lighters @ £1 each.

If the buggers bring this in, it'll be back to paying 80p per lighter.

Leg-iron said...

a) get a Zippo

b) stock up on Poundland lighters

c) torment the Righteous until they spontaneously combust and light your smokes off the corpse.

Okay, c) takes longer but it means you smoke less and every light is one less pompous git so that has to be a good thing, right?

DBC Reed said...

The problem with getting rid of government controls is instead of getting some hippified society with no controls Man, you end up with a brief vacuum soon moved into by the big corporations. I would rather have some half-arsed official ineffectually pratting about with good intentions than a"free" market solution which will, most likely pretend there's not an issue. Admittedly ,its not much of an issue.

Bayard said...

Isn't butane the stuff you can get in big blue metal bottles with Calor written on them? How many lighters' worth in one of those?