Recreational use of nitrous oxide now illegal

NewsUpdated: 8 November 2023Crime and safety

Residents are reminded that new laws banning the use of nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas, for recreational purposes have come into force.

From Wednesday, 8 November, anyone caught in possession of nitrous oxide, which is now a controlled Class C drug, could face up to two years in prison and anyone found guilty of supplying the drug for recreational use could be jailed for 14 years.

Consequences for breaking the new laws could include:

· an unlimited fine

· a visible community punishment

· a conditional caution – which would appear on your criminal record

· a community resolution

· a prison sentence for repeat serious offenders.

Cllr Steve Drury, Lead Member for Community Safety and Partnerships, said: “I am glad the government has finally come down heavily on this particular issue that has affected communities across the country.

“Nitrous oxide is frequently linked to anti-social behaviour and poses significant health risks for users. The empty canisters that users drop also blight our environment where our litter pickers have to clear up their mess.”

For further information on nitrous oxide visit: Nitrous Oxide | Laughing Gas | FRANK (