Nitrous oxide to be illegal from 8th November 2023

‘The ban, promised as part of the government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, will make nitrous oxide a controlled Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Earlier this year, the Home Secretary urged police forces to get tough on flagrant drug taking in local communities, with reports linking nitrous oxide to antisocial behaviour such as intimidating gatherings on high streets and in children’s parks, often leaving empty canisters scattered across public spaces.

There are still many necessary uses for nitrous oxide and those with a legitimate reason for possessing the substance will be exempt from the ban. For example, it will continue to be lawful for catering purposes and in maternity wards when used as pain relief during labour.

Licences will not be required to carry nitrous oxide, but individual users will need to demonstrate they are lawfully in possession of nitrous oxide and not intending to consume it for psychoactive effects.’

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