Nitrous Oxide: Young People

Home Office written question – answered on 3rd August 2020.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the adequacy of restrictions on the supply of nitrous oxide to young people; and what plans they have to strengthen those restrictions.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 (‘the 2016 Act’) provides the legislative framework for restrictions on supply of psychoactive substances, which includes nitrous oxide. The 2016 Act makes it an offence (with limited exemptions) to intentionally supply psychoactive substances , where the person knows, or is reckless as to whether, the psychoactive substance is likely to be consumed by a person for its psychoactive effects. A review of the Act was published in November 2018, concluding that it had been effective in addressing the open sale of psychoactive substances. Further action in relation to addressing online harms, including online supply of psychoactive substances for their psychoactive effect, is set out in the Online Harms White Paper which aims to make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially for children and other vulnerable groups.

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