Regulation of nitrous oxide supply

Closed 11 Nov 2022

Opened 30 Sep 2022


The key focus of this consultation is to obtain feedback about proposals to amend the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016, to include additional controls over the supply of nitrous oxide.

The consultation survey asks your opinion about various proposed options for controlling nitrous oxide supply and the potential impact of the proposals on you, your business or your organisation.

Restrictions on the sale of nitrous oxide are being considered because changing patterns of recreational use of this gas (often referred to as ‘nanging’) are resulting in serious and long-term adverse effects for some people. Multiple people in Western Australia have been admitted to hospital with damage to their nervous system, after recreational use of nitrous oxide. The risk of nerve damage increases when the person has used larger amounts of nitrous oxide regularly, over a period of time.

Nitrous oxide is available as compressed liquified gas in small bulbs and cylinders. It is intended to be used as a food additive, particularly in the restaurant and catering industry. Any changes to the Medicines and Poisons Regulations will maintain access to nitrous oxide for food businesses and will continue to allow members of the public to purchase small quantities for use in home cooking.

Please read the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement: Nitrous Oxide Supply for more information about the health risks associated with recreational use of nitrous oxide and the proposed supply restrictions. The proposed changes are intended to reduce the likelihood of nitrous oxide being supplied in a manner that is associated with use in a harmful way. The currently proposed controls seek to limit:

  • The amount of nitrous oxide that can be purchased per transaction or delivery,
  • The hours when nitrous oxide can be sold,
  • How soon orders for nitrous oxide can be delivered and
  • The type of product that can be supplied to different kinds of users.

No changes are proposed to the regulation of nitrous oxide products:

  • for medical use, which are already ‘prescription only’ medicines
  • for automotive use, provided the product is denatured with sulfur dioxide.

How to provide a submission

If you haven’t already, we invite you to read the Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement: Nitrous Oxide Supply and then complete the consultation survey.

The survey will take you around 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

Publication of submission

You have three choices on how we treat your survey responses:

  • Publish with your name and/or organisation/business
  • Publish anonymously
  • Do not publish (confidential submission)

The first question of the ‘About you’ section asks you to indicate your choice.

Why your views matter

Your views will help us identify issues relating to the proposed changes to the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016.

The information gathered from this consultation will be used in determining which options are taken forward when amending the Regulations.


  • Peak bodies and associations
  • Local governments
  • Health professionals
  • Consumers


  • Feedback