Poppers and Legislation

Poppers and Legislation

Adored all over the world, poppers can be found in online stores, sex shops, bars or even at parties and festivals. They have been present in the sex market for several decades, and play a key role in gay culture, especially in relationships between gay men. Although their use is somewhat common, one of the doubts associated with poppers is whether these are legal substances or not. Have you asked yourself that before? So read on to understand a little more about the legislation in relation to poppers.

What does the law say about poppers?

In reality, the legislation is not very clear about the legality of poppers. Confused by the answer? Yeah, it's normal. We will try to explain it so you can understand a little better.

As you may know, popper is a popular term for alkyl nitrites. Within this chemical class we find compounds such as amyl, pentyl, propyl and butyl nitrite. There is no reference in the legislation to poppers. What happens is that the law ends up prohibiting and condemning the use or consumption of each compound.

There is yet another important detail that will be decisive in many countries to determine the legality of poppers: the purpose of the product. That is, for what functionality are poppers bought for. The reason people look for poppers is obvious: for consumption because of their aphrodisiac sensations and in order to improve sexual performance. However, this is not the only use these bottles have. These products are very versatile and can be quite useful in medicine. Despite this, they can also be used as room odourisers, liquid incense as well as leather and CD cleaners. As a consumer of poppers, these terms are certainly familiar to you. This is because these are the descriptions on most poppers bottles, which in most cases are accompanied by a warning not to inhale. Since there are some countries that prohibit poppers sale for consumption, but not for other uses, this was the way found to “get around” the law.

Laws and poppers in Europe

As previously indicated, the legislation is very subjective, so there is no concrete ban common to all European countries. In addition, they are constantly changing and today's laws may not be the same in future time.

  • Spain: in Spanish territory, the trade in poppers is prohibited, so its sale is not authorized. As for its consumption, again, the law is not very objective if it is prohibited or not. Hence the importance of choosing to buy on reliable websites.
  • Switzerland, Austria and Germany: In these countries there is no restriction on the possession of these substances. However, a legal authorization is required for the marketing of amyl nitrites.
  • Portugal, France and the United Kingdom: currently, the law is common in these three countries. The use of the popper is free and legal. Here the production, sale, purchase and consumption of your wonder bottles is authorized. However, in 2016, the UK was on the verge of completely banning poppers' consumption. This decision was not effective because one of the members of parliament, Crispin Blunt, admitted to being a user of poppers defending its effects.

But then does this mean that we can use any type of popper in the countries where it is legal? The answer is no! Remember us telling you that laws are related to poppers' specific chemical compounds? The truth is that there is a nitrite that has been banned all across Europe since 2017: butyl nitrite. That is the reason why you will not find any poppers that have this component at the Buy-poppers.co.uk shop. In fact, here you will only find legal and quality products.

And in the rest of the world, are poppers legal?

  • United States: Here the poppers became legal, with just a medical prescription they can be used. However, currently, any alkyl nitrite can only be marketed if its purpose is not consumption or inhalation.
  • Canada: Although the production of these substances is permitted, the sale and use of poppers is not authorized, being punishable by a fine and imprisonment.
  • Australia: Thanks to the LGBTIQ community's position in defending the advantages and importance of poppers in harm reduction during sexual intercourse, the consumption of poppers is legal today and can also be found in pharmacies, in addition to the usual outlets.

Why is there this instability with regards to legislation and poppers?

The changes and uncertainties in the law regarding the substances that make up poppers are due to the concern of the appearance of serious collateral damage. But like any other substance, it depends a lot on the way it is administered and on the consumer's conditions and responsibility. In addition, no physical dependence or harmfulness caused by these nitrites has been proven (excluding butyl nitrite). We recommend that you refer to the article on the various ways to use poppers.


As you can see, legislation is constantly changing, so it’s very important to keep up to date with your country’s laws and prohibitions. In addition, due to the composition of poppers, buying from trusted stores is another precaution that you should always take.