BARNSLEY’S stop smoking services have been ranked as the second-best in the country for helping smokers to successfully quit – but only two-thirds of pregnant smokers decided to put down the cigarettes last year.
The latest figures from NHS Digital show that between April 2021 and March 2022, NHS Yorkshire Smokefree helped 72 per cent of local smokers to quit, with Barnsley coming out on top across the entirety of the region.
It’s well above the national average of 55 per cent and the regional average of 63 per cent, and health bosses say they’re supporting smokers to quit with ‘friendly and expert advice’.
Only around 17 per cent of Barnsley currently smoke, according to the data.
Between the same period, the support offered by Barnsley Hospital’s maternity stop smoking service helped 66 per cent of pregnant women to quit.
This places the town above the national average of 46 per cent, but there was still a third of pregnant women continuing to smoke during their pregnancy.
Working closely with Barnsley Hospital, the council say they are bringing the smoking at time of delivery (SATOD) rates in the borough down, sitting at 13.6 per cent from April 2021 to March 2022.
The current SATOD rate for Barnsley mothers sits at 10.5 per cent, rising to 12.3 per cent when including families living outside the borough who gave birth at Barnsley Hospital.
However, the annual SATOD average will be available later in the year where the council say they hope to improve on their current annual rate of 13.6 per cent.
The hospital’s specialist maternity service offers free, confidential support and advice, building on NHS Yorkshire Smokefree’s local offer.
Cou Caroline Makinson, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “In Barnsley, we want everyone to have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good health.
“We’re committed to making smoking invisible in our borough, with only 17 per cent of people in Barnsley currently smoking, and we’re working closely with partners to keep this number coming down. I’m delighted to see Barnsley coming in second nationally for helping people to successfully quit smoking, a decision which is great for your health and wellbeing as well as your wallet.
“We could not do this alone, so I would like to thank our NHS partners for their expert advice and supportive, friendly approach to helping people quit smoking for good.”
Amanda Longdon, service manager for Yorkshire Smokefree Barnsley, said she was ‘proud’ of the latest data.
“At Yorkshire Smokefree Barnsley, it is our mission to help the residents of Barnsley strive to live a healthier life,” she added.
“We are proud of the work we’re doing across the borough to help people stop smoking through the hard work and dedication of our team.
“Stopping smoking is one of the single biggest and best things that can be done to improve your own and your family’s health.
“If you would like further information on stopping smoking and the support we offer, please call us on 644364 and select option two.”