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Auckland business Oxygen Please started selling canned “recreational” oxygen in 2017.

The cans contain “95 per cent pure, enriched oxygen” which can be inhaled through a mouthpiece. Information on the company’s website said people used the oxygen to provide an “invigorating boost”.

It claims the oxygen may help improve energy, stress levels, mental clarity, and may help combat altitude problems, among other things.

But an online advert spotted by a concerned citizen on Facebook showed Oxygen Please was also claiming the product would “help fight Covid-19”, and that it was “perfect for the medically frail and health compromised”.

But a medical professional said the situation was the opposite, and that oxygen should only be used in “extreme circumstances”.

“Oxygen in the wrong circumstances can actually damage the lungs and make for a really unfortunate future,” said director of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research Professor Graham Le Gros.

Oxygen Please owner Leslie Crawford said she has removed the ad, but in comments to the Herald stood by her claims the oxygen was helpful in fighting the virus.

She said this was because Covid-19 was a respiratory illness and it was helpful to the lungs to have more oxygen.

Just in case you were wondering, a single canister (180 breaths of “pure recreational oxygen”), will set you back just $29.95.


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