A new piece of legislation which sees Nitrous Oxide becoming a Class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has come into force today (8 November).
Previously, Nitrous Oxide was controlled under the Psychoactive Substances Act where simple possession was not an offence and therefore we are unable to put figures against the issue.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Knubley, force lead for tackling illegal drugs, said: "We fully support the new legislation which introduces a maximum two year sentence for possession and 14 years for supply.
"We recognise the impact controlled drugs have on communities and on users. It is nationally acknowledged that Nitrous Oxide is heavily associated with Anti-Social Behaviour. Any new powers that assist in tackling that are welcome.
"As with all drugs, there is risk attached.There have been drugs deaths across the country linked to the use. The users generally take too much, fall unconscious and commonly die due to a lack of oxygen in the lungs. Amongst other reported harm, Nitrous Oxide can also cause long term nerve damage and lung damage from inhaling.
"It is commonly thought that those who use Nitrous Oxide only do so infrequently, however it is possible for people to become psychologically addicted and find it difficult to resist using it every day.
"Lincolnshire Police work closely with partners and whilst absolutely encouraging crime reporting and drugs intelligence, we also signpost anyone with concerns or dependency issues toward treatment services, including We Are With you."