AROUND 1,000 children as young as 11 take up smoking every year, according to figures released by a cancer charity.

Cancer Research UK released statistics showing 951 children from Barnsley, aged 11-15, take up the habit every year.

However, a spokesman for Public Health Barnsley said current data showed there had been a decrease in the number of children smoking in Barnsley.

In boys, the figure stood at 17.6 per cent in 2010 and that's down to 6.5 per cent this year.

With girls, the figure's also down, from 20.9 per cent to the latest figures of 13.2 per cent.