'The NHS is there to make you healthy' guest dismisses smoking ban as 'everybody dies in the end'

16 April 2024, 09:46

Nick Ferrari's baffling interview with pro-smoking political commentator

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

This guest told LBC he was against a planned smoking ban because 'everybody dies in the end' and the NHS should 'price in' the cost of dealing with sick Brits.

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Rishi Sunak faces the prospect of another backbench rebellion on Tuesday as his plans to stop young people from ever smoking come before the Commons for the first time.

The plan, which would make it illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone born after January 1 2009, was one of three key policies announced by the Prime Minister in his speech to the Conservative Party conference last year.

But the more libertarian-minded members of his party have criticised the ban, raising the prospect that Mr Sunak may need to rely on Labour votes to secure the passage of one of his flagship policies.

"Lives will be saved, the NHS will be saved billions of pounds, what's not to like?" Nick Ferrari asked Political Commentator Benedict Spence.

"I always listen to the argument it costs the NHS a certain amount every year, and I think the NHS is there to make people healthy and, spoiler alert, something kills everybody in the end," Mr Spence replied.

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He told LBC he didn't think saving the NHS money was a good enough excuse as "everybody dies" in the end and the health service should "price in" the cost of their care.

"I don't think it's a good enough argument that we're saving the NHS lots and lots of money, well, everybody dies, everybody gets ill, everybody gets old at some point, that's something we have to price in," he said.

As the interview went on Mr Spence asked what the government would regulate against next asking if they would make it mandatory everyone gets eight hours of sleep a night.

Tom Swarbrick asks caller: ' You want to bring in the smoking ban so you can get back with your ex-girlfriend?'

Opponents of the ban include Mr Sunak's immediate predecessor, Liz Truss, who has previously described the plans as "profoundly unconservative".

Former prime minister Boris Johnson also described the plans last week as "nuts".

Conservative MPs have been granted a free vote on the legislation, and several are expected to oppose the Tobacco and Vapes Bill when it has its first full debate in the Commons on Tuesday.

As well as raising the smoking age every year, the legislation includes provisions that will regulate the display, contents, flavours and packaging of vapes and nicotine products.

Smoking kills about 80,000 people a year and costs the NHS and the economy an estimated £17 billion annually.

According to the Government, creating a "smokefree generation" could prevent more than 470,000 cases of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and other diseases by the end of the century.

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