Nitrous oxide ban: supply cut but still a ‘major problem’


Nitrous oxide was banned last year by the UK Home Office after it reclassified the gas as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) 1971, but – although there has been a visible reduction in supply – the drug is still a ‘major problem’, according to outgoing BCGA President David Hurren.  

But what were the driving factors behind the ban and what are its implications?

One of the key forces leading the call to impose a retail ban on the gas was the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA), which has been running a campaign since March 2020.

“The BCGA had been running the campaign for restrictions, really raising the awareness of the harm and the risks,” said Hurren, speaking during the BCGA Conference 2024.

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