Welcome to Healthy Dudley. This is the new public health website.

Nitrous oxide canisters

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas that people inhale, usually via a balloon. It’s also called balloons, nos, whippits, laughing gas, hipie crack chargers and noz.

It’s most commonly found in pressurised metal canisters.

You may have seen these in our parks and green spaces or lying around in streets. It’s important to know and educate others on the dangers.

More information can be found here, on the FRANK website and in the Warning – nitrous oxide is no laughing matter flyer.

No laughing Matter Nos bottles on red paving background

The law

From 8 November 2023 the law changed to make possession of nitrous oxide (N2O, NOZ, NOS) illegal 2023 if it is, or is likely to be, wrongfully inhaled.  It is now classified as a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 197 (please see guidance below)

Nitrous Oxide is widely used by young people and this change in law is likely to have a significant impact in terms of increased criminalisation and exclusion.  Young People may not be aware the law has changed.

Cranstoun- Here4YOUth are currently working with Cranstoun Diversion programmes to encourage and support community resolutions, to support and not punish wherever possible.

Here4YOUth are happy to accept referrals for young people that use or have used N2O,  particularly heavier use from larger cannisters as this is an indicator of higher risk Young Person Professional Referral Form – Cranstoun. We can offer harm reduction support, drug education, and comprehensive psychosocial interventions.

Please see updated government guidance, and link to information about Nitrous Oxide here:

Nitrous oxide ban: guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) – Everything You Need to Know – Drug Science

If you would like support from Cranstoun Here4YOUth either for a child or young person you are working with, do not hesitate to get in touch.

Reporting nitrous oxide canisters as litter

Dudley Council want to know when you come across these used canisters, to help us understand the extent of the problem across Dudley.

Please use the link below to report where canisters (and other litter) is.

From the cleanliness problem page, select ‘litter – nitrous oxide (silver bullet) canisters’, then complete and submit the form. You can do this anonymously is you wish.

Report a shop you think may be selling nitous oxide illegally

Please use the form below to give Dudley Council details, and to give the name and location of the shop.

When you reach the cleanliness problem page, select ‘report a shop selling nitrous oxide canisters’, then complete and submit the form. You can do this anonymously if you wish.