Volatile Organic Compounds, Solvents and Lighter Fluids can be abused by young people by inhaling their fumes. The effect is similar to taking drugs.

In Summary:

  • It is illegal for any person to sell any substance (unless it is a controlled drug covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971) to any person under the age of 18 years if he has reasonable cause to believe them to be under 18 and he has reasonable grounds to believe the substance will be used by that person to cause intoxication.

  • There is a similar offence for supplying substances to others that the seller knows or has reason to believe will be used by a person under the age of 18 years to cause intoxication.

  • It is a defence for a person under the age of 18 years to show that they supplied the substance otherwise than in the course of a business.

  • It is illegal to supply a cigarette lighter refill canister containing butane to any person under the age of 18 years.

  • It is illegal to supply any substance containing butane to any person under the age of 18 years.

  • It is a defence for a person supplying cigarette lighter refills or substances containing butane to show that they took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid selling them to persons under the age of 18 years.

  • The penalties are an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment for up to six months.