30 Aug 2012

Inquest held into huffing-related death

8:27 pm on 30 August 2012

An inquest into the death of a teenager who inhaled butane, the practice known as huffing, has been held in Rotorua.

The 16-year-old boy died last year. About two weeks after the death, the teen's father discovered an empty deodorant canister in the youth's bedroom.

However, the Coroner told the inquest the butane that caused the teen's death may also have come from a cigarette lighter found in the pocket of his jeans.

A pathologist's report, sections of which were read out to the inquest, stated that the teen's brain was swollen and between 25% and 30% heavier.

A statement from an expert with the National Poisons Centre was also read out to the inquest stating that there have been about three huffing-related deaths per year since 2003.

Detective Constable Robert Lyle told the inquest young people need to take note of what is in the media about how dangerous huffing can be, and in a perfect world they wouldn't be trying things like this.