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Glue Sniffing

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection whether he is able to define the areas where glue sniffing is known to present a social problem; and if he will make a statement.

My Department does not have sufficient information to enable it to identify any particular areas where this practice may present a social problem. The general pattern seems to be one of occasional and limited outbreaks of the habit, occurring unpredictably in various parts of the country. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence that "sniffing" is a widespread, continuing problem in any one area.

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what evidence there is available about glue sniffing having any detrimental effect on the health of those inhaling glue fumes; how this habit commenced; and which age groups indulge in this practice.

Little evidence is available about possible long-term adverse effects of this practice; they are likely to depend on the type of product involved. There have been a number of deaths, usually caused by suffocation by vomit or plastic bags whilst the victims were unconscious. I do not know how or when the habit, which seems to be most prevalent in the 14–16 age group, first commenced.