Redditch MP Rachel Maclean voted against Tobacco and Vapes Bill - The Redditch Standard

Redditch MP Rachel Maclean voted against Tobacco and Vapes Bill

Redditch Editorial 18th Apr, 2024 Updated: 19th Apr, 2024   0

REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean voted against the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, saying she ‘does not believe in banning things’.

The measures, championed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, would make it an offence to sell tobacco products to anyone born after 2009.

The second reading of the bill was passed by 383 votes to 67 and, if the legislation goes through, the UK’s smoking laws will be among the strictest in the world.

Smoking itself would not be criminalised and anyone who can legally buy tobacco today will never be prevented from doing so in the future by the legislation.

Responsible for around 80,000 deaths annually, smoking is the UK’s single biggest preventable killer and costs the NHS and economy an estimated £17billion a year – far more than the £10billion annual revenue from tobacco taxation.

 




However, Mrs Maclean said despite these figures, the measures suggested by the bill was not the right way to tackle smoking-related harm.

“We live in a free country and people are allowed to do a lot of things that are ‘bad’ for them both physically and mentally, such as drink alcohol, eat a poor diet, take no exercise, and spend too long looking at smart phones, social media and TikTok.


“Banning any of these things would not stop people doing them and forces more and more government and state regulation and overbearing enforcement into the lives of individual people.

“It’s right we support public health measures on all these fronts, but long-term sustainable changes will only be made by education and behaviour change.

“Smoking rates are already declining, so let’s do more of the things we know work to drive these down.”

The bill must now go through committee and another vote before going through the same process in the House of Lords.

Other Worcestershire MPs, including former Health Secretary, Bromsgrove’s Sajid Javid, Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire) and Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) all voted in favour of the bill.

* WHAT do you think? Do you agree with Rachel Maclean that there should not be a ban? Or maybe you feel she should have voted in favour of it.

Email your views to [email protected] or write to us at the address on page eight.

Tobacco and Vapes Bill - How would you have voted?

Would you have voted in favour of the phased smoking ban for those born after 2009?

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