Laughing gas to become illegal class C substance in UK
Nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas, is to become an illegal class C substance by the end of the year, the government has said.
Those caught producing or selling the drug could also face up to 14 years in prison under the new rules. At present, the supply of nitrous oxide for recreational use is banned, but possession is not.
The ban comes despite recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that it would be disproportionate with the amount of harm linked to the gas.
UKs drug advisory panel rejects calls for nitrous oxide ban
MPs have called for the change after use of the drug multiplied among 16- to 24-year-olds. The drug is typically released into balloons from small silver canisters and then inhaled.
The substance can cause headaches and make some users anxious or paranoid, while too much nitrous oxide can make a person faint or lose consciousness. Heavy use can lead to a range of illnesses including nerve-related symptoms.
The government initially announced its plan to ban nitrous oxide earlier this year as part of a policy to tackle antisocial behaviour, but on Tuesday set out more details of the implementation of the law change.