Local MPs support smoking ban
Last updated Apr 16, 2024
(from left) Keir Mather, Andrew Jones and Julian Smith

Two local MPs have said they support today’s vote to make it illegal for anyone born since 2009 to ever smoke.

MPs will vote today on Rishi Sunak’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

Conservative MPs have been given a free vote on the issue and this afternoon’s Commons debate is being broadcast on Parliament TV.

Andrew Jones, the Conservative MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, told the Stray Ferret he supported the bill. He added:

“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the UK and I want people to live longer, healthier lives rather than dying younger following a period of significant illness.

“Also NHS beds and appointments taken up by people with smoking-related illnesses mean there are fewer beds for people with other issues meaning longer waiting lists for treatment so reducing the number smoking is good for everyone’s health.

“Finally there are an amazing number of days lost in the workplace due to ill health caused by smoking.  Fewer smokers is better for our economy and our productivity.”

The Stray Ferret also asked Julian Smith, the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, and Keir Mather, the Labour MP for Selby and Ainsty, if they would vote in favour of the bill.

A spokesperson for Mr Mather said:

“Owing to an urgent engagement in the constituency, Keir will be paired for today’s vote so will be shown as an abstention.

“However, he has asked me to let you that he supports the legislation in principle because it will be a positive step for public health which the Labour Party has supported for some time now.”

Mr Smith said:

“I support the policy and will be voting for it.”

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss told the Commons the idea that the government “protect adults from themselves is hugely problematic”. She added:

“If people want to vote for finger-wagging, nannying control freaks, there are plenty of them to choose from on the benches opposite.”

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