Laughing gas will be categorised as a class C drug by the end of the year, the UK Government says.
The new categorisation of nitrous oxide means users could face hefty fines, two years in prison and sellers up to 14 years.
Laughing gas, also known as hippy crack, has become a popular recreational drug in recent years and is the second most commonly used drug among 16 to 24-year-olds in England after cannabis.
The substance is used in some medical procedures such as dental work, and gets the term ‘laughing gas’ from the euphoria it can induce in those that inhale it.
In May 2016, it became illegal to import or sell nitrous oxide for human consumption under the psychoactive substances act.
In a statement, home secretary Suella Braverman said: “The British people are fed up with yobs abusing drugs in public spaces and leaving behind a disgraceful mess for others to clean up.
“Earlier this year the prime minister and I promised a zero-tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and that is what we are delivering.
“If you are caught using ‘laughing gas’ as a drug, you could be hit with a hefty fine or face jail time.”