HC Deb 02 December 1980 vol 995 c42W
Mr. Teddy Taylor

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement on the extent to which glue sniffing has become a problem, particularly amongst the young; and if he will introduce legislation to make the selling of glue to young persons unlawful.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

So far as is known, the practice of glue sniffing is not confined to any particular age group, although it mainly affects adolescents. Among young people the pattern seems to be one of limited and scattered outbreaks rather than a continuing or widespread habit. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services is considering how to improve the information available on the incidence of sniffing.

There are many products which can be and are misused for sniffing but are quite safe when used for their intended purpose. On that ground, I do not consider that it would be justifiable to restrict the sale of glue alone to young persons and it would be impracticable to expect to be able to control the sale of all the products that might be misused by sniffers.