The laughing gas ban came into force on 7 September following the decree being signed by the Assistant Secretary of State and Health, António Lacerda Soares.

Diário da República states that the substance is the latest addition to the April 2013 decree of psychoactive substances and that it “represents a significant danger to public health, in so far that there is a link between their consumption through ingestion, inhalation or by any other routes of administration.” The law also highlighted its link to psychiatric disorders including psychotic episodes as well as serious cardiac complications.”

The addition of nitrous oxide to the list of psychoactive substances banned is justified due to “it being used for purposes in a recreational context rather than its intent such as industrial and medical.” The law also reads that laughing gas when consumed causes euphoria, analgesic and anxiolytic effects, accompanied by a sensory alteration of the perception of space and time and a disturbance of motor coordination. When it comes to long term, serious effects were outlined including damage to the immune system, changes in memory, among other neurological damage.”