UK Bans Nitrous Oxide Gas Used As Drug


London: The sale of Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is set to be banned in the UK as part of a crackdown on anti-social behaviour, the government has announced, as per a BBC report.  Also known as NOS, it is the second most-used drug in the UK by 16 to 24-year-olds, after cannabis.

According to the report, possessing laughing gas will now be made a criminal offence as part of a wider crackdown on anti-social behaviour. While it is illegal to produce, supply or import nitrous oxide for human consumption, possession has so far not been against the law.

Outlining the reason, the government said it was “concerned about the rise in health and social harms” of laughing gas, particularly to young people”.

“We are for the first time making possession of nitrous oxide an offence; preventing supply for misuse by putting tighter controls on retailers; and giving greater powers to law enforcement to take action against those who are in breach,” the government added.

Laughing gas or Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas which is used as an anaesthetic in medical and dental contexts and as a gas for whipped cream. However, when inhaled directly, the drug also known as “hippy crack”, gives the user a short, sharp high. The drug is typically released into balloons from small silver canisters and then inhaled.

As the name suggests, inhalation of the gas can result in giggling fits, and at the same time, it slows down the brain and the body’s responses.

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