If it is anything like a pepper spray I wouldn't agree with you. I got sprayed once with a very slight amount in a theatre (don't ask) and I thought that I was going to die. It provokes terrible body reactions and you have a feeling that your lungs, throat, eyes and mouth are on fire. Absolutely terrible feeling and you stop what ever you are doing just coughing, crying and gasping for air which burns even more. It is vile through and through.
So if this gas released by the lock is similar, I do see a point about stopping thief with the smell. Of course, a gas mask will defeat this, but well, maybe they will just go and steal some other bike.