Home > Nitrous oxide: No laughing matter?

Rough, Elizabeth and Brown, Jennifer (2020) Nitrous oxide: No laughing matter?

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Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colourless gas discovered by Joseph Priestly in 1772. In human and veterinary medicine, it is used with oxygen as an anaesthesia due to its pain-relieving effects. It is often referred to as ‘laughing gas’ because it can give those who inhale it a euphoric mood. Other legitimate uses of nitrous oxide include as a fuel additive and as an approved food additive when used as a propellant for whipped cream.

Recreational users typically inhale via a balloon inflated with the gas. There are health risks associated with the recreational use of nitrous oxide.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Article
Drug Type
Inhalents and solvents
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
20 July 2020
House of Commons Library
Place of Publication

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