This is what wikipedia sayes about azides. Mr Mowrey may be right.
"Azide is the anion with the formula N3−. It is the conjugate base of hydrazoic acid. N3− is a linear anion that is isoelectronic with CO2 and N2O. Per valence bond theory, azide can be described by several resonance structures, an important one being N−=N+=N−. Azide is also a functional group in organic chemistry, RN3.
Sodium azide is found in automobile air bags; it decomposes on heating to give nitrogen gas, which is used to quickly expand the air bag. The antiviral drug zidovudine (AZT) contains an azido group. Some azides are valuable as bioorthogonal chemical reporters."