Overview and Scrutiny reflects on the great work happening to tackle vaping in Barnsley

We’re committed to making smoking and vaping invisible in Barnsley, working with our partners to make sure everyone in our communities can get the right support to go smoke-free. 

Our Overview and Scrutiny Committee has been hearing from a wide range of partners to reflect on what we’re doing in Barnsley to combat vaping and where we could go further. 

Their report, which has been heard today at Cabinet, highlights the concerning surge in the popularity of vaping among both adults and young people, including those who have never smoked before. 

The group came together to consider the health and environmental impacts of vaping, the government’s plans to create a smoke-free generation and local work being done to support our communities. 

Hearing from Public Health colleagues, our Regulatory Services team, NHS Yorkshire Smokefree Barnsley and our Tobacco Control Alliance, they reflected on some great work happening in Barnsley, including: 

  • Our local campaign highlighting the facts about vaping and e-cigarettes, helping parents, carers and young people understand the risks. This has been displayed in places young people visit like Barnsley Interchange, with plans to continue making the information accessible to everyone. 
  • The work of our Regulatory Services team to seize illegal products and secure prosecutions, helping to keep our streets safe from illicit tobacco and vapes. 
  • Our local stop smoking service, NHS Yorkshire Smokefree Barnsley, coming out on top regionally and second best nationally for helping people to successfully quit smoking. They are currently piloting the government’s ‘Swap to Stop’ scheme as another way to help people go smoke-free. 

As part of the report, nine recommendations have been made to Cabinet, helping us to build on our successes so far in making Barnsley a place free from smoking and vaping. This includes: 

  • Working together with the Barnsley Tobacco Control Alliance to look at the impact vaping has on local schools and young people, exploring the different ways schools are tackling this issue. 
  • Analysing the findings of the Youth Council’s recent research into young people and vaping, making sure key points are reflected in our plans for the future. 
  • Working to better highlight the impact of vaping on oral health. 

We also know that changes in legislation nationally should help us on our journey to create a smoke-free generation. We’re committed to working with our partners to make sure we offer the best support to our communities and businesses in line with any changes we see nationally. 

As part of this, we support Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)'s recent coverage backing changes in national legislation.

Anna Hartley, Executive Director for Public Health and Communities, said: “In Barnsley, we’re committed to making sure everyone in our communities can get the support they need to live happier, healthier, longer lives. It has been great to share what our teams and partners are doing to support our communities and make smoking and vaping invisible in Barnsley. 

“The report stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to safeguarding public health and fostering informed decision-making. It serves a valuable reminder of how by working together, we’re creating the change we want to see locally and nationally.” 

The full report is available to read on the Barnsley Council website. We will continue to share the great work being done to make smoking and vaping invisible in Barnsley, such as the recent successes of Barnsley Hospital’s maternity stop smoking team. 

If you’ve been thinking about quitting, today is the perfect day to start, and Yorkshire Smokefree Barnsley is here to help you every step of the way. Even if you’ve tried before, don’t give up on quitting smoking – every time you try, you’re a step closer to success. 

Find out how they can help you by visiting their website or calling 0800 612 0011 to speak to one of their friendly advisors. They will help you choose the best support to suit your needs. 

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