Originally reported in The Times this morning, Government officials have suggested that Home Secretary, Suella Braverman is pushing for a ban on the sale or possession of nitrous oxide.
Discarded nitrous oxide cylinders are a common sight, with almost one in 10 16- to 24-year-olds reporting having used the substance in 2019-20.
Current law bans the knowing or reckless supply of nitrous oxide for inhalation and Government but review is currently being carried out by the independent advisory council on the misuse of drugs, which advises on drug policy.
There is believed to be pressure to fast track the review as any change in law cannot be made until the results are known but an annoucement could be made as part of the government’s antisocial behaviour strategy, which is set to be published in April, with legislation likely by the summer. A ban is already in place in the Netherlands.
On learning about the suggested proposals the NTIA CEO, Michael Kill said:
“For some time now Nitrous Oxide Canisters or Balloons have been used as a recreational drug and sold openly in the streets across society, and in the last few years this issue has escalated, with silver canisters littering the streets and anti social behaviour amongst sellers, presenting a real challenge for businesses and local authorities.”
“The move by the Home Office to ban the sale and possession of nitrous oxide has been welcomed by the Industry, and feel this is long overdue, and will give the Police the legal standing to deal with this long standing issue. The move will mimic actions by Berlin to ban the sale or possession of NOS, leading to the eradication of the issue in within the city.”