THE father of a teenager who nearly died after smoking a legal high says they should be banned.
The 19-year-old, who does not want to be named, bought a packet of Low Rider from Gypsy King Cafe in Market Parade, Havant.
He took the synthetic substance home and smoked it – despite it saying on the packet it was not for human consumption.
Within minutes he was fitting and lost the ability to swallow the food he had in his mouth, causing him to choke.
His sister called an ambulance and paramedics freed his airways but he was taken to hospital and kept in overnight.
His father said: ‘We were out having dinner when my daughter rang, we raced back to see an ambulance outside the house.
‘It was awful. My son could have died.
‘My daughter said he put a mouthful of peanut sweets in his mouth and started howling and rolling around and started choking on them.
‘He just could not control himself.
‘What makes me so angry is this shop can quite legitimately sell this stuff as long as they have a warning on the packet.’
Peter Stanley, the owner of Gypsy King, refuted the teenager’s claim that he was shown how to ingest it by the shop assistant.
He said: ‘He is 19, he’s old enough to buy it. We can only say to people what it is, whatever they choose to do with it is up to them.
‘The guy (who ingested it) called up the shop and got angry with the worker.
‘He said “this stuff nearly killed me, You have to take it off the shelves”.
‘Even though it says not fit for human consumption on the packet.
‘The fact is people do consume it, and we’re fully aware of that, but we can’t stop them. They abuse them (legal highs). They think it’s a substitute for cannabis but it’s far more dangerous.
‘But what I’m doing is completely legal. It’s down to the government to put legislation in place to stop it.’
Hampshire crime commissioner Simon Hayes reiterated that he commended the government on imposing a ban on five legal highs.