Poppers are set to be banned in the UK from next year, under new drug laws which could see anyone selling the recreational drug face jail for up to seven years.
The government is banning the drug as part of a new 'blanket ban' on the production, distribution, sale and supply of psychoactive substances - or 'legal highs' - such as laughing gas and the hallucination-inducing herb salvia.
'Poppers' is the slang term given to amyl nitrate
, a chemical which is inhaled to produce a short, sharp head rush, relax muscles. It is often used by gay men in preparation for anal sex.
Under the current plans they will be banned in the UK for sale or purchase, including imports from online websites, from April 2016.
Gay health charities and a committee of MPs have argued that poppers are "not seen to be capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a societal problem" and should not be covered by the new law, but the government is pressing ahead with the change regardless.
Home Office Minister Mike Penning told Gay Star News
: "The Psychoactive Substances Bill has been the subject of wide ranging public and parliamentary scrutiny and is based on the advice of medical and scientific experts.
"The Bill will deliver on the Government’s commitment for a blanket ban on the production, supply and importation of harmful psychoactive substances, which have contributed to the unnecessary and tragic deaths of 129 people in Britain last year."
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