Posted: Fri 27th Jan 2023

Laughing gas could be banned from sale in bid to tackle antisocial behaviour

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 27th, 2023


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The UK government is preparing to crack down on the sale and possession of laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, as part of a wider strategy to combat antisocial behavior.

According to a report by the Times, under the new proposals, drug misuse laws would be revised to allow people found with nitrous oxide in public to be prosecuted. Only those with a “legitimate reason” for possession, such as chefs who use it in food production, would be exempt.

At present, the Psychoactive Substances Act bans the supply of nitrous oxide for inhalation, but the British Compressed Gases Association is pushing for a more comprehensive ban on direct consumer sales and stricter laws to cover those found in possession without an exemption.

Policing minister, Chris Philp, is calling for a review of nitrous oxide to be fast-tracked to April by the independent Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

A formal announcement on the matter could be made as part of the government’s antisocial behavior strategy, with any necessary legislation likely to be passed by the summer.

The use of nitrous oxide has grown in popularity among 16 to 24-year-olds in England, becoming the third most commonly misused drug after cannabis. Concerns have been raised about the health and social harms posed by the substance, which can cause paralysis or even death in extreme cases.

The drug, which slows the brain and body’s responses, causing feelings of euphoria, relaxation and calmness, is inhaled from small silver canisters after being released into balloons. However, side effects include dizziness, impaired memory and cognition, and weakness in the legs, which can lead to accidents.

Last year, doctors warned that health problems caused by improper use of nitrous oxide were on the rise, with evidence of larger canisters being used. The government has ordered a crackdown on the drug after polls revealed it was a growing public concern, with

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