Laughing gas could be banned in Camden in council crackdown

Laughing gas containers

Laughing gas containers - Credit: Archant

The use of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, as a recreational drug could soon be banned in Camden.

Joseph Benett

Joseph Benett - Credit: Archant

Camden Council is hoping to follow the Labour administration in Lambeth which this week became the UK’s first local authority to ban use of the legal high publicly.

Although medically safe and not illegal, nitrous oxide can cause a drop in blood pressure, fainting and heart attacks when used on a regular basis.

But those using it publicly in Lambeth can now be issued with an on-the-spot fine of up to £1,000.

Camden councillor Jonathan Simpson, cabinet member for community safety, said he wished to see the same happen in Camden.

“The council is very concerned about the impacts of legal highs including nitrous oxide,” he said.

“We are currently investigating the use of public space protection orders (PSPOs) to tackle a range of issues across the borough such as this with a view to adopting these as soon as we can.”

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In 2012, Hampstead schoolboy Joe Benett died after inhaling butane, believing it to be laughing gas.