Nitrous oxide is a psychoactive substance and subject to the provisions in the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (the 2016 Act). It is an offence under the 2016 Act to produce, supply, offer to supply, possess with intent to supply, import and export a psychoactive substance, subject to certain exemptions. It is also an offence to possess a psychoactive substance in a custodial institution, subject to certain exemptions.
The government is committed to tackling illicit drug use and protecting our communities from antisocial behaviour. The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced powers, such as Public Space Protection Orders, which the police and local councils can use to prevent people from taking intoxicating substances, including psychoactive substances such as nitrous oxide, in specified areas.