Nitrous oxide is now illegal in the UK, with repeat offenders facing up to two years in prison.
Anyone caught using nitrous oxide to get high will be prosecuted as part of the fight against anti-social behavior.
And those who peddle the drug, known as “hippy crack,” could face up to 14 years in prison.
The government’s new ban as part of its anti-social behavior action plan makes it a Class C drug.
This means possession with the intent to inhale to produce a psychoactive effect is now a felony.
Users also face unlimited fines, community penalties and a prison sentence.
The drug will continue to be available for legitimate uses, such as in maternity wards to relieve pain in laboring mothers or in the catering industry.
Anyone who wants to use laughing gas for legal reasons does not need a license to carry it, but may have to prove the intended use.
Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “Today we are sending a clear message to people, particularly young people, that the misuse of nitrous oxide is not only dangerous to their health, it is also illegal and those caught possessing nitrous oxide will face consequences have to calculate.” “
He had previously vowed: “Both users and retailers will face the full force of the law for their actions.”
Interior Minister Suella Braverman ordered a crackdown on nitrous oxide amid links to louts gathering in children’s parks – and leaving the cans on the ground.
Health risks such as anemia, nerve damage and even paralysis are associated with nitrous oxide.
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighborhood Watch, previously said: “As the use of nitrous oxide has increased over the years, there has been an associated increase in reports of anti-social behavior, including the littering of nitrous oxide canisters.”
“For communities across the country, banning the substance under the new legislation will be a positive step towards tackling anti-social behavior and making local communities a better and safer place to live.”