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Student News

Student sells laughing gas for quick cash on campus

We spoke a Surrey student who sold laughing gas on campus – with 1 in 10 students taking risks to make ends meet, student debt is no laughing matter.
making money from laughing gasCredit:Maciej Dakowicz – flickr

When Katie*, a Maths student from Surrey, first arrived at uni she needed a way to make money - and fast.

Speaking exclusively to Save the Student, she explained how easy it was to start selling laughing gas on campus as a way to make a quick buck:

I had done ‘NOS’ [Nitrous Oxide] a fair amount before I came to uni and always loved it, so I spoke about it with my friends and was surprised at how many of them had tried it and how many others said that they would be up for trying it.

On the look for ways to make a quick buck at uni? Check out our popular guide on how to make cash online.

What is NOS?

what is laughing gas?Credit: ProMo-Cymru – Flickr
Nitrous Oxide, or 'laughing gas,' is commonly used as an anaesthetic during surgery. It’s also what’s used to make whipped cream frothy, which is why it’s so easy to get hold of – it's sold in small canisters along with a whipped cream dispenser, for obvious reasons.

This is how Katie bought her laughing gas to sell on campus, as she told us she bought a "good" dispenser online and bulk-bought the NOS online too.

When inhaled, laughing gas causes brief feelings of euphoria (and, as you might expect, giggling), and can be bought for just a couple of quid a pop.

Katie dispensed the gas she bought online into balloons to sell in either single or double 'shots'. On average she made £10-25 a night by going to parties at nearby flats, and soon found that she was being invited to more parties as word spread that she was dishing out cheap lols.

Is laughing gas legal?

is laughing gas legal?Up until earlier this year, nitrous oxide was classified as a 'legal high', but it's now illegal to supply nitrous oxide for human consumption.

This is because laughing gas can be extremely dangerous and causes hallucinations (not the good kind!), burns from holding canisters and even death from lack of oxygen.

Despite this, Katie doesn't believe inhaling laughing gas is risky, but she hasn't sold any since it became illegal. She says:

I don't really think it's that dangerous. I've never had a problem, plus you can buy it from head shops if you know which ones to go to and you ask for it (as it would be hidden away)...Now it's all become illegal and stricter I haven't sold it because it's not worth the risk just for a bit of cash each week.

Katie isn't the only student taking big risks to make cash, either. The results of our National Student Money Survey show that 1 in 10 students are taking risks such as gambling, finding a sugar daddy or even selling their used underwear online to make ends meet at university.

Sound all too familiar? We've got a whole section on making money to help you out... and our tips don't involve selling drugs!

*Katie's name has been changed.

Did you have a weird way of making money at uni? We want to know!


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