Nitrous oxide canisters no laughing matter say Fenland police

Empty nitrous oxide canisters - commonly known as laughing gas - found in Chatteris today

Empty nitrous oxide canisters - commonly known as laughing gas - found in Chatteris today. Police removed more than 500 empty canisters. - Credit: Cambs Police

More than 500 empty canisters of nitrous oxide – better known as laughing gas – were picked up by police in Chatteris. 

“Neighbourhood officers, whilst dealing with another incident in Chatteris this afternoon, have located a large number of discarded canisters” said a statement on their Policing Fenland Facebook page.  

Two industrial cylinders and balloons.  

“We have now removed over 500 empty canisters from the area in one go,” said the statement. 

“As of 2016, nitrous oxide is covered by the Psychoactive Substances Act and is illegal to supply for its psychoactive effect.  

“Those found convicted of breaking this law can face jail time of up to seven years and unlimited fines.” 


500 empty canisters of nitrous oxide found in Chatteris are no laughing matter say police

500 empty canisters of nitrous oxide found in Chatteris are no laughing matter say police - Credit: Police

The statement added: “The inhalation of nitrous oxide is extremely dangerous and can result in death. Is the risk worth it?” 

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Nitrous oxide is a colourless gas, often used by dentists as a sedative and anaesthetic agent.  

It is what is described as a depressant drug, which slows down the body.  

When it is inhaled it can make people feel happy, relaxed and giggly, hence the name ‘laughing gas’. It can be responsible for dizziness and in some cases hallucinations.