Oxfordshire MPs have explained their vote on a bill to ban smoking as politicians in the county describe it as a "nanny state gone mad".

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plans to effectively ban the practice received the backing of most UK MPs on Tuesday night despite some rebel Conservatives rejecting it.

Under the legislation, known as the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, anyone born from 2009 onwards will be banned from buying cigarettes.

READ MORE: Minster Lovell: Oxfordshire village to get 134 new homes

Conservatives were split on the vote as 59 MPs voted against the plans.

But Conservative MP for Banbury, Victoria Prentis, said: "I was pleased to support the Tobacco and Vapes Bill in Parliament yesterday.

Bicester Advertiser: Victoria Prentis.Victoria Prentis. (Image: N/A)

"Smoking is the UK’s biggest preventable killer, so it is right that we take firm action now.

"When I have met schoolchildren either in Parliament or out in the constituency, this is one of the key topics of discussion.

"I know that making a smoke free generation a reality is something they care very passionately about and, for the most part, support.

"I welcome that the Bill will now progress to its Committee Stage."

Oxford East MP Anneliese Dodds was among the 160 Labour MPs who supported the bill.

Bicester Advertiser: Anneliese Dodds.Anneliese Dodds. (Image: Newsquest)

She said: "Labour first proposed a progressive ban on smoking more than a year ago.

"It was only thanks to Labour MPs that this bill passed, as the Prime Minister was too weak to get many of his own MPs to actually vote for it. 
"If we are privileged enough to form the next government, Labour will implement this ban, which will save young people from the lifelong harms to health caused by smoking."

Meanwhile, only five Liberal Democrats voted for the bill, with Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran saying she had abstained.

Ms Moran added: “While I support many aspects of the government’s Bill, especially the provisions around vaping, the thrust of the public health arguments and the increase in cessation services, I have some concerns about introducing differing restrictions based on age.

Bicester Advertiser: Layla Moran.Layla Moran. (Image: Jon Lewis.)

"As a Liberal, I am concerned about the broader societal impact of different adult age groups being treated differently by the law, and the possibility of introducing ID cards by stealth."

Conservative county councillors Liam Walker, Michael Waine and Nick Leverton said they supported the ban.

But Felix Bloomfield, council chair and Benson & Cholsey division representative, concluded: "It's nanny state gone mad.

"This is an attack on people's freedom."

Other Oxfordshire MPs, all Conservative, did not respond to a request for comment.

John Howell, MP for Henley, is listed as voting for the bill while no vote is recorded for Robert Johnston, MP for Wantage, or Robert Courts, MP for Witney.

Trader Vikas Patel, from the East West Provisions convenience store in Oxford's Woodstock Road, said: "People like smoking so they're going to smoke anyway.

"The problem for us is with the road closures.

"We are losing about half of our customers."

Bicester Advertiser: Vikas Patel.Vikas Patel. (Image: Contribution.)