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Crackdown on nitrous oxide canister sales

27 November 2019

Tougher restrictions on the sale of nitrous oxide canisters, or 'nangs', will come into effect early next year, following approval from South Australia's Controlled Substances Advisory Council. 

Attorney-General, Vickie Chapman said the Government had put forward a series of measures, which were considered by the Council today. 

"I'm pleased to advise the council has accepted our recommendations, and we will now be moving to progress these measures," Ms Chapman said. 

With the support of the Council, the Government will move to:

  • restrict the sale and supply of canisters to people aged over 18
  • prohibit the public display of canisters in a retail business, and require that the products be kept in an area that is inaccessible to the public
  • mandate the display of notices setting out the offences related to the sale of canisters in retail premises (similar to notices in stores selling cigarettes or spray paint)
  • ban the retail sale of canisters between 10pm and 5am. 

"We recognise there are legitimate uses for these canisters, and these restrictions should not impact on those who wish to buy them for lawful reasons," Ms Chapman said. 

"However, they will make it harder for those retailers who sell the canisters, most likely knowing they'll be abused, along with those who seek to misuse these products and expose themselves to serious risk of harm.

"These changes are also in line with recommendations from Encounter Youth, who see first-hand nitrous oxide being misused, especially in environments such as Hindley Street," Attorney-General Chapman said. 

"Additionally we appreciate there are educational facilities that are likely to use these canisters in cooking classes, and we will provide exemptions to ensure they can continue supplying these products to students as required.

"Given these measures will have an impact on those businesses that stock these products, we will be providing a phase-in period before these regulations come into effect - to ensure they have enough time to modify their practices in line with these restrictions." 

The changes will be made through regulation before the end of the year and come into effect early next year.