"inhalants" refers to over a thousand household and commercial
products that are intentionally misused by sniffing, bagging or
"huffing" (inhaling through the mouth) to get high. These products
are legal and serve useful purposes in our society. But when misused,
they can cause permanent physical and mental damage even death.
Retailers can play a part in stemming the tide of inhalant use
by learning about the problem. Educate yourself about your state
laws and learn how to protect your store, property and the youth
in your community.
Monitor the sale of harmful products to young people and refuse
to sell unusual quantities of abusable substances without parental
consent. Question young people who buy several containers at a
time of glue, rubber cement, spray paint, air freshener, cooking
spray, whipping cream cans or other inhalable products
Watch for minors
that regularly buy inhalable products. Note any unusual consumption
of certain products, particularly on weekends, and decline to
sell the products if you have reason to believe they are being
Shoplifting inhalants is a common practice. Keep track of missing
products to know if you have sniffers regularly stealing from
abusable products where they can be monitored by store employees.
Know your state
laws regarding the sale of inhalants to minors.
signs regarding the products and/or prevention posters in a visible
area near the register.
Educate your employees,
especially at point of sale.
Talk to the young
people in your life about inhalants and let them know the dire
consequences of abusing these poisonous chemicals.
Share this information
with retailers in your area and see what actions can be taken
as a group.
If someone is
found huffing on your property, remain calm and do not try to
aggravate the user. Inhalant users can experience hallucinations
or increased aggression. Also, sudden scares or stress can increase
the chance of Sudden Sniffing Death.
For more information,
see Products Abused as Inhalants.