BARNSLEY has one of the worst track records in the UK for the number of people who smoke - with 20 per cent of local deaths in the over 35 age group attributed to smoking.

The statistics, released to We Are Barnsley by the NHS, shows Barnsley has some of the highest statistics of smoking prevelance in the UK, second in Yorkshire only behind Hull.

The report shows that 2,900 hospital admissions of Barnsley residents aged over 35 can be attributed to smoking, treated for things like chronic airway obstruction, lung cancer and ischemic heart disease

Rates are highest in the Dearne, North East, Stairfoot and St Helen’s - and it is thought that in these wards, smokers could live for nine years less than their none-smoking counterparts.

Latest data shows that there are more than 30,500 registered patients who are smokers - with the highest age category being in the 16-29-year-old bracket.

Around 652 new mothers still continued smoking through their pregnancy and the estimated smoking related deaths by electoral ward put Stairfoot at the highest (21.9 per cent), followed by Monk Bretton (21.4 per cent) and Dearne North (21.3 per cent).

NHS Barnsley say that cheap cigarettes sold cheap 'under the counter' will be cracked down on as well as a new push educate people on the dangers of second-hand smoke, particularly in homes and in cars.

Dr Renu Bindra, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said: "Tobacco smoke contains a powerful cocktail of poisons which make the effect of smoking in a confined space, such as a car, much more potent.

"Children that are exposed to second-hand smoke while travelling in a car have a significantly increased risk of chest and ear infections, asthma and sudden infant death."