No laughing matter: Nitrous oxide ban comes into force today
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A change to the law means that from today (Wednesday 8 November) the recreational use of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is illegal.
Under the new ban, repeat offenders could face up to two years in prison. Dealers face up to 14 years in prison.
The new law makes it a criminal offence to possess the gas with the intent to wrongfully inhale it, for example with the aim of ‘getting high’.
Other punishments include an unlimited fine and a caution that would appeal on a criminal record, potentially impacting on someone’s chances of employment and travelling abroad.
Detective Superintendent Sutherland Lane from Warwickshire Police said: “As well as the negative health impacts of nitrous oxide it is also linked to antisocial behaviour such as groups gathering to inhale the gas and the subsequent littering as they leave empty cannisters on the ground.
“From today it’s use is illegal. We welcome this change to the law that will give us more powers to tackle this antisocial behaviour.”