It is commonly sold in small metal canisters containing the gas which is then either transferred into a balloon for inhalation using a dispenser or a ‘cracker’, which can be easily sourced. For additional information, refer to BCGA Leaflet 19 – Abuse of nitrous oxide. As such, BCGA is calling on the Government to implement a straightforward ban on consumer sales of Nitrous Oxide in order to curb this ongoing blight on our society.
12% of substance-related death mentioning nitrogen or nitrous oxide on the death certificate. It is the second most commonly used substance among 16 to 24 year olds in England after cannabis, with half a million having used it in 2019. Unfortunately, there are many damaging risks of using the substance, such as:
There are legitimate and important uses of the gas, which would not be affected by a ban on retail sales, such as:
Prior to the Psychoactive Substances Act, it was commonplace to see balloons of Nitrous Oxide on sale at festivals, in clubs and pubs and in city centers – the balloons filled on site either from large cylinders (often stolen), or using 8g minis, in conjunction with otherwise empty cream dispense jugs.
BCGA also helped the NHS write extensive guidance on medical gas cylinder security. Large Nitrous Oxide cylinders are still targeted to be stolen from hospitals and elsewhere, and typically reappear at illegal raves. The Police are aware of this and BCGA members often cooperate with intelligence and assist where possible.
The Psychoactive Substances Act outlawed the knowing or reckless supply of Nitrous Oxide for inhalation and has also had good effect in curbing the above Nitrous Oxide trade. If anyone is selling crackers or balloons alongside 8g minis, it is clear that they know the gas will be inhaled, because there is no other use for the cracker device and therefore sellers should be prosecuted under the Psychoactive Substances Act.
Highlights the dangers of misusing gases and the potential hazards that can occur if gases are used irresponsibly.Go To Download Page
Provides information on nitrous oxide and highlights the dangers from its abuse. It supports the BCGA campaign encouraging a ban on consumer sales.Go To Download Page