Psychoactive substances and age restricted products

New Psychoactive Substances mimic the effects of traditional drugs that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. These substances, which include nitrous oxide, are sometimes referred to as 'legal highs'. The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 makes it an offence to produce, supply or offer to supply any psychoactive substance if the substance is likely to be used for its psychoactive effects and regardless of its potential for harm. Nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, medicinal products and substances already controlled by the Misuse of Drugs Act are exempt.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has developed a useful guide to psychoactive substances to assist retailers.

ACS psychoactive substances guide (PDF, 829KB)

There are also laws that restrict the sale of certain products and services to underage people.

Guidance for retailers: