SMOKERS in Barnsley spend on average £2,050 a year on tobacco, a public health report has revealed.

In Barnsley smoking costs society around £62.4m, the report said, including factors such as lost productivity, the cost of social care and smoking-related house fires.

It added: “When net income and smoking expenditure is taken into account, 8,326 households with a smoker fall below the poverty line.

“If these smokers were to quit, 2,140 households would be elevated out of poverty.”

Smoking prevalence in Barnsley continues to fall as part of the council-led ‘Breathe 2025’ initiative, which is aiming to make the habit invisible, and resulted in the council joining forces with Yorkshire Smokefree as part of last month’s ’Stoptober’ scheme.

Coun Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesman, added: “In 2016, 79.4 per cent of Barnsley’s adults didn’t smoke, and in 2018 that figure increased to 82.6 per cent. “That’s a fantastic improvement, but we want this year to be our best year yet.”