The Home Office has announced that possession of nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’, will be illegal from 8 November 2023.

The ban will make nitrous oxide a controlled Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

When misused, nitrous oxide can cause serious damage to the health and livelihood of the user. 

BCGA has called on the UK Government to ban consumer sales of nitrous oxide, in order to put an end to this problem.

David Hurren, President of the British Compressed Gases Association, said“As an active campaigner for restrictions on consumer supply, BCGA welcomes the Home Office decision to take action, and the willingness of the teams there to listen to the concerns of our members.  

“We believe the legislation is a step in the right direction and are encouraged that it has been framed to ensure essential legitimate business use is protected.

“BCGA will be monitoring how the impact of the statutory instruments being introduced will address our concerns about the import and supply of capulets which, in our view, are mainly used illegitimately, as well as the small disposable canisters, which have no business application.

“Both the capulets and the canisters have been problematic as a means of online supply,

“Discarded canisters are also causing major safety and environmental issues in Waste Disposal Centres.”

More details on nitrous oxide abuse can be found at