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EDITIONS
Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 15:44 GMT
Calls to tighten solvent rules
Lighter fuel
Lighter fuel can cause brain damage or suffocation
Parents and councils are calling for regulations on selling solvents to be tightened.

A petition was handed to the Scottish Parliament by the father of a Fife teenager who died earlier this year from sniffing lighter fuel.

Research showed that there were 72 deaths in the UK in the year 2000 linked to abuse of gas fuels, aerosols, glues and other solvent based products, eight of those in Scotland.

Campaigners north of the border want shopkeepers to ensure those buying dangerous substances are over 18 and that they sign for solvents.

John O'Brien
John O'Brien: "Take action"

The move to change the law is being led by John O'Brien, whose 16-year-old son Lee died earlier this year after sniffing lighter fuel.

A petition, which has been signed by 15,000 people, calls for stricter guidelines on selling dangerous solvents.

Mr O'Brien said: "I want to see the Scottish Parliament take action and protect the children of Scotland.

"Their sons, daughters and grandchildren are all at risk if the parliament doesn't do anything."

Mr O'Brien met Hugh Henry, the minister for drugs, to discuss the issue and call for a change in the law and a publicity campaign.

The campaign is being backed by 20 Scottish councils and several celebrities including actor Dougray Scott and snooker star Stephen Hendry.

Lighter fuel gives a temporary high when it is sniffed, but can cause side effects such as vomiting and dizziness - and can kill.

It can cause suffocation within 20 seconds or leave people with serious brain damage.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
John Knox reports
"The family wants the sale of solvents tightly controlled"
See also:

14 Jul 02 | Health
18 Apr 02 | Scotland
07 Mar 02 | England
15 Mar 02 | Health
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