The Global Drug Survey says it is the UK's fourth popular recreational drug.
Nitrous oxide is used by members of the medical profession as an anaesthetic. Depending on your age you may have experienced laughing gas side-effects after treatment at a dental practice in the U.K.
Like so many substances in the right hands and correct quantities it is relatively harmless. Any doctor though will tell you that no anaesthetic is 100% safe.
However administered for its correct purpose and in the appropriate surroundings laughing gas is pretty safe.
When it is used however on a regular basis and in order to give the user a 'high' nitrous oxide can cause fainting, a drop in blood pressure and heart problems, including heart attacks.
So all of that is why Lambeth Council will use new powers to curb the use of laughing gas as a recreational high.
Notices and warnings have been put in place and issued but how much attention laughing gas users will give them is not known.
As for enforcing the ban it will be a nightmare to police.
Also called 'hippy-crack' laughing gas is one of a range of so-called legal highs widely available; as Councillor Jane Edbrooke from Lambeth says "It's not healthy, just because they're caused legal highs does not mean they're good for your health."