New figures show that the work of Yorkshire Smokefree has contributed to the biggest drop in smoking across the borough in recent years. The service is run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and paid for by Barnsley Council.
Public Health England's most recent data shows that the number of adults smoking fell from 20.6% in 2016 to 18.2% in 2017. This is the biggest drop in South Yorkshire during the same period of time. Across England, there was a 0.6% reduction between 2016 and 2017, whereas Barnsley’s was 2.4%.
Simon Lister, service manager, said: “We have historically higher than average levels of smoking in Barnsley, but we’re reducing the gap.”
In the past year Yorkshire Smokefree has been re-commissioned to run stop smoking services by Barnsley Council. Smokefree staff have worked hard to reach key communities, moving the stop smoking shop into Barnsley’s redeveloped markets to be more accessible to local people.
Image: Neil Carr, Stop Smoking & Healthy Lifestyle Advisor
The team target particular groups of smokers, the biggest being routine and manual workers. This group has seen the greatest number of quitters following an innovative campaign, working with Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce to engage directly with business leaders and selling the benefits of allowing smoking cessation advisors into work places.
Simon Lister said: “The number of routine and manual workers smoking in Barnsley has fallen a whopping 6.3% between 2016 and 2017, down to 27.5%. That’s below the Yorkshire and Humber average and just 2% above the England average.”
Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health, said: “These are very encouraging results and it’s great to see that Barnsley is closing the gap with the rest of England. There’s always more work to do and reducing smoking is one of our top priorities. We are working hard to try and de-normalise smoking with our ‘Make Smoking Invisible’ programme of work. We are creating smokefree outdoor spaces across the borough including smokefree play parks, smokefree town centre zones and smokefree schools. Changing the smoking behaviour of adults will have the biggest impact on reducing the number of children who start. If you’re thinking about quitting, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Yorkshire Smokefree. You are four times more likely to quit smoking with the help of our stop smoking service.”
There are lots of ways to give up smoking and there is help to find a way tailored to each individual’s specific needs. Some clients may get free nicotine replacement therapy or Champix depending on eligibility.
For more information people should call Yorkshire Smokefree for advice and tips on quitting smoking: 0800 612 0011 (free from landlines) or 0330 660 1166 (free from mobiles) or visit the website.