MORE than £6.5m was spent on social care for smokers aged 50 and over in Barnsley in a year, according to new analysis.

A report, funded by the public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), shows the council spent almost £3.5m on ‘smoking-attributable’ home-based social care for adults aged 50 and over - this equates to a total of 472 residents receiving state-funded, home-based care.

This, combined with the £3.1m the council spend on residential social care, brings the total additional spending on social care as a result of smoking to more than £6.6m.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said: “Smoking has a devastating impact on our communities far beyond the tens of thousands of lives it takes every year.

“It profoundly undermines the quality of many people’s lives, often placing heavy demands on family and friends.”