Talk to Frank - Honest information about drugs

Nitrous oxide

NOS is a colourless gas sold in canisters, usually inhaled using a balloon.

Also called:

  • Balloons
  • Chargers
  • Hippie Crack
  • Laughing Gas
  • Nos
  • Noz
  • Whippits

Quick info

How the drug works varies from person to person

How you might feel
Relaxed, giggly, sound distortions and/or dizzy, anxious, paranoid.
Read more about how it feels
Effects on your body
Can give you a headache and/or stop you thinking straight.
Read more about how it feels
How long it takes to work
Usually immediately.
Read more about how long it takes to work
How long the effects last
1 - 2 mins on average.
Read more about how long the effects last
Common risks
It’s more dangerous inhaling directly from the canister. It can be hard to judge how many balloons to use. Too much nitrous oxide can make you faint, lose consciousness, or suffocate.
Read more about the risks

Concerned about...

Help and advice

What to do in an emergency

If you or someone else needs urgent help after taking drugs or drinking, call 999 for an ambulance. Tell the crew everything you know. It could save their life.

What else to do in an emergency