Nitrous Oxide: Misuse

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 13th July 2020.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the health effects of the misuse of nitrous oxide; and if the Government will bring forward legislative proposals to regulate the sale of canisters of that product.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

No recent assessment of the health effects of nitrous oxide has been made. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered nitrous oxide in 2015 and concluded that there is evidence that the use of nitrous oxide, other than in line with designated guidance and for purposes other than for which it was manufactured, can cause harm. Under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 it is an offence to supply a psychoactive substance. Those who supply nitrous oxide who know, or who are reckless as to whether, it will used for its psychoactive effect may be subject to a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both.

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