New financial incentive scheme launched to support young people to quit smoking

We have partnered with Barnsley College to launch a new pilot scheme, offering financial incentives to support young people to quit smoking.

Running until early next year, the scheme aims to support students at Barnsley College who are currently smoking to quit at targeted college sites.

This new scheme, which was made possible through the council’s COVID-19 recovery fund, will work alongside and strengthen existing specialist support available to students through Barnsley College’s smoking cessation advisors.

Their team works with NHS Yorkshire Smokefree to offer a twelve-week quit program to support students to go smoke-free, including nicotine replacement therapy.

There is strong evidence supporting the use of financial incentives to encourage people to quit and stay quit when paired with specialist support.

Barnsley College students could receive £35 in Barnsley Gift Cards for successfully quitting for twelve weeks. Carbon monoxide monitoring will validate these continued quits, which is already offered weekly to students by the college’s smoking advisors.

Councillor Caroline Makinson, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities: “In Barnsley, we want everyone to have the best possible chance of enjoying life in good health. Studies have shown that using financial incentives is an effective way to help people quit and stay quit, even after the incentives end.

“I am therefore excited to see this pilot scheme set up in partnership with Barnsley College, and I hope it will help young people go smoke-free from an early age.”

Liam Garside, Head of Student Services at Barnsley College, said: “We have been working with Barnsley Council on our smoking cessation programme since September 2019. This twelve-week programme, open to staff and students, offers a wide variety of support to promote and develop independence through a structured programme to quit, including incentives for milestone achievements.

“The College’s smoking cessation programme supports the council’s Healthy Barnsley vision whilst improving the health and welfare of our students and staff.”

Recently, we partnered with Barnsley Hospital to launch another pilot scheme, offering financial incentives to support pregnant women in quitting smoking.

The launch of these pilot schemes comes as we support World No Tobacco Day today (Tuesday 31 May). An annual opportunity to inform the public about the dangers of using tobacco, this year’s theme is the threat it causes to our environment.

For more information on how smoking impacts the environment, visit the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day webpage.

As part of World No Tobacco Day, we highlighted the benefits quitting can have on the environment and the importance of making smoking invisible in our borough.

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