Possession of nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’, will be illegal by the end of the year, with users facing up to two years in prison, under a zero-tolerance approach to antisocial behaviour.
CEO of Night-time Industries Association Michael Kill said:
“We welcome the announcement by the Government today that Nitrous oxide is set to be banned under new government legislation by the end of the year, but recognise that this must work hand in hand with a much broader education and harm reduction strategy on drugs across the country.
“Over the years, the industry has grappled with the persistent issue of nitrous oxide’s sale and consumption, which has been exacerbated by existing regulations that have rendered licensees and authorities ill-equipped to combat this problem effectively.
“The burden on businesses has been substantial, as they’ve contended with mounting pressure from authorities and residents due to the proliferation of discarded silver canisters on the streets.
“This predicament has not only posed risks to the well-being of both staff and patrons but has also fostered an environment conducive to petty crime, anti-social behaviour, and the activities of organised crime syndicates.
“The government’s intervention comes at a pivotal juncture, given that businesses in major cities across the United Kingdom have witnessed a significant escalation in the challenges associated with nitrous oxide over the past 6-12 months.”