Sunday, 1st November 2020

The Telegraph reader's guide to 'hippy crack'

FOOTBALLERS enjoy a balloonful. Youths at lockdown raves go mad for it. But what is ‘hippy crack’ and could it become the drug à la mode for relaxed kitchen suppers? Lord Denys Finch Hatton investigates. 

What is ‘hippy crack’?

Nitrous oxide or ‘laughing gas’ is used by Generation Z, who reached adulthood in the 2010s and consequently have never laughed naturally. Its shiny, bullet-like receptacles can be found discarded in areas where mindless yob vandalism is called ‘street art’.

Is it safe?

Once inhaled, the gas induces a sense of euphoria and a fascination with brightly-coloured balloons. When administered by medical professionals as ‘gas and air’, it is risk-free. Taken recreationally, side effects can be dizziness, the application of glitter to the face and a disinclination to agree with Laurence Fox.

Is it legal?

Nitrous oxide inhabits a legal grey area very different to ‘five and drive’ on country lanes, groping female colleagues, large-scale tax avoidance and everything else where the police leave you alone if you have the right accent. The lower classes can’t be arrested for this one, giving them a dangerous sense of impunity.

Should it be banned?

Shall we go over who’s enjoying this again? Boy racers. TikTok teens. The voiceless urban poor with no hope and no future. Of course it should be banned.


I am no puritan. I went to Ibiza in the 90s and once danced to Paul Oakenfold with Prince William. However, hippy crack is accessibly priced and readily available so must be the new scourge of society. Plus nobody with a modicum of decorum should be seen dead puffing on a pink ‘Same Penis Forever’ hen party balloon.