Nitrous oxide


Nitrous oxide is a gas that has a long history of use as an anaesthetic and, more recently, as a propellant in aerosol cans as a replacement for ozone-damaging CFCs.

It has a long history of use as a recreational substance, but due to the relative ease of obtaining it (being legal to purchase) and sharing it, it is particularly popular amongst teenagers and younger people, as well as festival goers. There has been a notable increase in reported use in recent years, and certain sections of the media have dubbed nitrous oxide ‘hippy crack’, though it has very little connection to either part of this term.