Cambridgeshire Neighbourhood Watch Association

Nitrous Oxide Ban

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Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas or NOS, is a substance that can cause euphoria, dizziness, and hallucinations when inhaled. It is often used for recreational purposes, especially by young people, but it can also have harmful effects such as nausea, headaches, and nerve damage. 

From 8 November 2023, nitrous oxide will be illegal in the UK, as part of a government crackdown on anti-social behaviour. It will be classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, making possession and sale for recreational purposes a criminal offence. 

The ban will not affect legitimate users of nitrous oxide, such as medical professionals, dentists, and food manufacturers. They will still be able to use the substance for its intended purposes, as long as they comply with the new legislation and follow the guidance issued by the Home Office.

More guidance is available from Nitrous oxide ban: guidance – GOV.UK (

If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s use of nitrous oxide, you can seek help from various sources, such as your GP, local drug services, or online support groups. You can also call the confidential Frank helpline on 0300 123 6600 or visit their website for more information.

Nitrous Oxide | Laughing Gas | FRANK (

This guidance is licensed under the Open Government Licence 3.0.

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