BARNSLEY Council has signed a declaration which will see it commit to a raft of anti-smoking measures.

It is hoped the signing of the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control will see a dramatic increase in life expectancy if smoking is reduced.

More than a quarter of the town's adults smoke, with tobacco use being the single biggest preventable cause of ill health in Barnsley.

The revitalised Barnsley Tobacco Alliance will be responsible for stopping promotion of tobacco, making it less affordable and will help users quit.

A council report said: "We have higher rates of tobacco use in Barnsley than the regional and England average. The high numbers of women who continue to smoke during pregnancy is of considerable concern.

"A reduction in smoking across the borough will improve people's health, increase incomes if smokers quit, reduce costs of dealing with smoking-related fires and costs of cleaning up cigarettes."

Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for public health, said: "Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death and disease locally with approximately 461 people dying in Barnsley each year due to smoking-related diseases.

"This declaration signals the council's commitment to taking strong action to reduce smoking."