Campaigners have launched a petition calling for tougher measures to tackle laughing gas after a man's teenage daughter was horrified to find empty cannisters in a car park.

British Pakistani Christian Association is calling on Redbridge Council and the Metropolitan Police to introduce a local byelaws forcing companies to register before selling introus-oxide.

They also want sale to be restricted to over 18s with proof of ID.

Wilson Chowdhry, BPCA chairman, is leading the campaign with his teenage daughter, Hannah. The duo found empty cannisters in the car park of Gants Hill Library, and says it is a regular occurrence.

Mr Chowdhry said: "Any companies found flouting laws for sale should be publically shamed - we must act now to save our younger generation!”

Hannah, 14, who goes to Kantor King Solomon High in Ilford, volunteers for the BPCA.

She showed him a park where empty canisters used for laughing gas were regularly being found, to the extent they created a trip hazard.

She claimed people her age were lured into experimenting with laughing gas after watching online videos promoting its use.

Mr Chowdhry said: “Redbridge Drugs and Alcohol Service must create new literature explaining the dangers of legal highs, in particular hippie-crack which is so widespread.

“This should be reinforced with talks to children in schools and colleges across the borough.

Nitrous Oxide is used as an anaesthetic for some medical treatment, and in catering as a preservative.

When inhaled it can produce feelings of euphoria and hallucination, but also unconsciousness or death from lack of oxygen.

He e-mailed the council's licensing team about his petition but is yet to receive a reply.

But despite his efforts, he believes banning the drug would prove fruitless.

He added: "I think people are going down the wrong path when they try to ban it. What they should be doing is penalising the vendors who sell it.

"The statistics are there for anyone to see. These are being in parties in places like Thailand and across the globe. It is a huge craze, and the craze has been proven to have medical consequences.

"I am encouraging people to sign that petition so that we can lead our council to reach the right decision that will lead to a positive outcome before the decimation of our young people."

Redbridge Council leader Jas Athwal had previously announced in 2015 the council were looking to totally ban the use of nitrous oxide and other legal highs within the borough.

Mr Chowdrhy added: “Such suggestions are foolish, they show a lack of understanding about the use of Nitrous-oxide in the baking industry and for soda drinks.”

A council spokesperson: “We welcome initiatives to stop the misuse of nitrous oxide but unfortunately current legislation wouldn’t enable us to put in place some of the measures, such as a local by-law, as suggested in the petition.

"However, we are committed to working with our partners to do all we can to prevent the misuse of nitrous oxide. For instance, we have already taken enforcement action with the police to prevent the sale and use of the product at events that take place in the borough and will continue to look into other ways to tackle the problem.”