The Government has confirmed that it will not press ahead with plans to ban poppers through its psychoactive substance bill due to go live on the 6th April.




The Conservative government have u-turned on plans to include Poppers, formerly known as alkyl nitrites, in the  psychoactive substance bill which is to be enacted on the 6th April.

The law carries a maximum sentence for anyone found supplying a psychoactive substance of up to 7 years in jail.

The u-turn comes just days after the Government’s own advisory board on drugs issued a report saying that Poppers are not a psychoactive substance.


The Home Office minister Karen Bradley responded to the advisory board’s missive saying,

“Having given due consideration, the Government agrees with your advice and interpretation of the definition.

“We do so in the understanding that “poppers” have these unique indirect effects. Our understanding is that this approach does not have any further implications for the operation of the Act and that other substances that the Act intends to cover are not affected.

“We remain confident that the psychoactivity of those substances can be established under the definition in the Act.

“We will ask law enforcement agencies to be guided by our agreement with your advice.

“Our acceptance of your advice brings to an end the review process we were undertaking in parallel to consider the case for a bespoke exemption for the alkyl nitrites group under the Act on the basis of their beneficial and relationship effects.

“The process to exempt substances from the Act applies only to substances which meet the Act’s definition.

Poppers are most commonly used within the gay and bisexual male community to aid in the comfort of anal sex.

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In 2014 Lord Brian Paddick suggested that bill needed some serious reevaluation of its language suggesting it could make criminals out of florists.


He said,

“The way that the law is written, it’s any substance that changes your mental state like making you feel happy.

“So suppliers of air fresher for example and potentially florists could be arrested because the scent given off by roses makes people feel romantic, makes them feel better.

“By the strict definition of the law they are supplying a substance which when inhaled through sniffing changes your mental state, that’s how ridiculous this law is.”

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