HC Deb 15 February 1978 vol 944 cc277-8W
Mr. Dempsey

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection, in view of the growing malpractice known as glue sniffing and its consequent danger to life and limb, and of the expressed view of a Scottish sheriff that the sale of such commodities to young persons should be prohibited by law in view of their proven misuse, if he will introduce urgently legislation to this effect; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Fraser

I share my hon. Friend's concern about the dangers presented by solvent sniffing. A wide range of products can be used for sniffing which are not harmful in normal use, and I do not consider that it would he either practicable or justifiable to prohibit their sale to young persons. Nor am I convinced that any warning label would be effective in deterring young perons who indulge in this practice from continuing to do so. Warnings might in any case do more harm than good by providing an easy means of identifying products which can be misused in this way. It is preferable, in my view, to continue to rely on the activities of drug addiction liaison committees, school teachers, social workers and youth organisers to educate young people on the dangers of sniffing.

Back to