SMOKING costs Barnsley more than £100m every year, according to new analysis by a health charity.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed the data last week which estimates that smoking costs the borough a total of £101.26m through a variety of means.
Healthcare costs relate to £11.7m of the total estimation, whilst social care is £6.62m and fire costs are £1.33m.
More than 80 per cent of the costs are accrued in the productivity section valued at a loss of £81.61m which relates to smoking-related lost earning and smoking-related unemployment.
More than £30m is lost every ear due to loss of earnings because of smoking, £43m due to unemployment because of smoking, and just over £8m due to smoking-related early deaths.
The stats suggest that 35,804 adults smoke in the town almost 20 per cent of the entire adult population.
Those 35,000 residents smoke around 330,000 cigarettes every day, the majority of which are filtered and non-degradeable meaning they end up on landfill sites.
This results in around 17 tonnes of waste in Barnsley alone, and seven tonnes of this waste is discarded on the street by smokers.
It’s also estimated almost £70m is spent on tobacco every year in the town, and each smoker spends around £2,000 on cigarettes.
Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health, said: “Smoking is a drain on society.
“It’s a cost to individuals in terms of their health and wealth and a cost to us all because it undermines the productivity of our economy and places additional burdens on our NHS and care services.
“Nationally government must publish their promised plan for tackling smoking but local councils must also seize the initiative and create plans for their communities that account for the tremendous burden caused by smoking.”
The cost of smoking-related hospital admission in Barnsley tops £4m, and the figure for treating smoking-related illnesses such as lung and heart disease through primary care services is more than £7m.
Staff absences have soared over the last few months at Barnsley Hospital, and with an average of 520 staff on sick leave through isolation or illness so far this month.
With the estimated costs, Barnsley’s smoking-related illnesses are putting ‘immense’ pressure on the NHS.
Many current and former smokers will require care later in life as a result of the side effects, and it’s believed this costs the council more than £6,6m in a year.
Social care is being provided by friends and family, or not at all for more than 8,500 people, if this was replaced with formal paid care by the council, it would cost almost £80m annually.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue also attend ten smoking-related fires every single year in Barnsley, equating to a loss of £1.33m.
Coun Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesperson for public health, said: “In our ambition towards a Healthy Barnsley, we’re continuing to encourage more people in Barnsley to go smoke-free, and working to reduce the number of people who take up smoking.
“Smoking has a negative impact on our residents and communities, and we’re committed to see the next generation of children growing up in Barnsley in a place free from tobacco.
“We’ve implemented smoke-free playparks, town centre zones, markets and primary schools to help de-normalise smoking and reduce the impacts of smoking in our communities.
“There’s plenty of support in Barnsley to help residents stop smoking, and you can find out more about the help available at barnsley.gov.uk/smoking.”