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UK moves to ban Nitrous Oxide, announces dealers, users face 2-14 years’ prison sentences

Canisters of Laughing Gas Photo: Evening Standard UK

*The British Government has said any consumer of Nitrous Oxide, otherwise known as ‘laughing gas’, will face up to two years in prison, or an unlimited fine, while dealers could receive 14 years sentences in the European country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In a move to curb drug trafficking and substance abuse among the populace, the British Government Tuesday, September 5, 2023, announced that any consumers of Nitrous Oxide, otherwise known as “laughing gas” would face up to two years in prison, or an unlimited fine, while dealers could receive 14 years sentences in the European country.

ConsumerConnect learnt that Nitrous Oxide would become a class C drug, and outlawed by the end of 2023.

NOS, which is often inhaled from balloons, is the third most commonly used drug among 16 to 24-year-olds in England.

Following NottingHill carnival August this year, Kensington and Chelsea council said it collected five skips of empty NOS canisters from its streets.

The canisters must be collected separately to other waste as there is a risk they could explode if compacted, reports Evening Standard.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman reportedly said: “The British people are fed up with yobs abusing drugs in public spaces and leaving behind a disgraceful mess for others to clean up.

“Earlier this year the Prime Minister, and I promised a zero-tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour and that is what we are delivering.”

Braverman stated: “If you are caught using ‘laughing gas’ as a drug, you could be hit with a hefty fine or face jail time.

“New schemes are already underway to increase police patrols in hotspot areas of antisocial behaviour and dish out punishments for perpetrators more quickly, and Police will soon be able to drug test people arrested for a wider range of illegal drugs.”

Earlier this year, levelling up secretary Michael Gove announced that the gas would be banned in anti-social behaviour clampdown.

His statement went much further than the recommendations of a Home Office review, which stopped short of recommending a outlawing the gas, which is used in the catering industry for whipping cream.

UK Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “We cannot allow young people to think there are no consequences to misusing drugs.

“There is no question that abusing laughing gas is dangerous to people’s health and it is paramount we take decisive action before the situation gets worse.”

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