If you're a smoker, stopping smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect your health.
Get help to stop smoking
Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do to improve your health and the health of those around you and increase your chance of living longer. Being smoke free means that you'll enjoy the benefits of living a healthier life. Smoking can kill and if it doesn’t kill you, it can leave you with life changing illnesses.
There are now plenty of ways to get help to quit smoking, so you can choose a method that suits your lifestyle and needs.
A local free stop smoking service is available to all smokers who live or work in Barnsley, at a variety of locations across the borough. The service provides a range of free nicotine replacement therapy and expert behavioural support, either face to face, over the phone or online.
You can find more information at NHS Yorkshire smoke free.
Some people have found that e-cigarettes help them to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes are battery powered devices that deliver nicotine through inhaled vapour. Most e-cigarettes contain a heating element, a cartridge containing nicotine, glycerine and water. They do not contain tobacco and aren't burnt.
E-cigarettes are substantially less harmful than smoking tobacco. The smoke produced from burning tobacco in cigarettes contains about 4000 chemicals, 70 of these are know to cause cancer. Since e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and aren't burnt they are considered to be at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes.
For more information about e-cigarettes and to clear up some commonly held myths about them, head over to public health matters.
Smoking in pregnancy
Quitting smoking in pregnancy is the best thing you can do to ensure your baby is in the very best of health and has the best possible chance of a healthy start in life.
There are many benefits for both you and your baby when you stop smoking. To read more about these benefits, head over to the NHS website.
Support and treatment is available for pregnant women and their families to stop smoking. You can find out more information about the Barnsley maternity stop smoking service.
Illegal tobacco products include cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco that have been smuggled, bootlegged or are counterfeit.
Illegal tobacco can consist of the following:
- Illicit whites – brands which have no legal market in the UK, often from eastern Europe.
- Non-UK duty paid – genuine UK brands brought into the country and sold without duty being paid
- Counterfeit – illegally manufactured and made to look like recognised brands
Illegal tobacco has a wide range of impacts:
- Health - children and young smokers are often targeted by people who sell illegal cigarettes, making it even easier for them to get hooked on smoking. The people making money out of this do not care who they sell to. The availability of cheaper illegal cigarettes also makes it harder for people to quit and remain smoke free.
- Safety - young and vulnerable people are often the ones to visit private addresses to buy cigarettes. It puts them into risky situations with people who might also be selling alcohol, drugs and stolen goods.
- Crime - the illegal tobacco trade has strong links with organised crime and criminal gangs. Many of the people smuggling, distributing and selling it are involved in drug dealing, money laundering, people trafficking and even terrorism. Selling illegal tobacco is a crime.
- Schools and hospitals - people who buy illegal tobacco steal from the taxpayer. This is money that could be spent on important public services like schools and hospitals.
Look out for the tell tale signs of illegal tobacco include:
- Packets with no health warning pictures
- Packets with foreign language health warnings
- Stock kept out of sight in retail shops and away from the regular tobacco display cabinet
- Much cheaper than normal cigarettes, for example £3.50 - £7.00 per pack of 20
- Unusual or foreign brand names, such as Jin Ling – or those from Russia and the Far East
- Availability in unusual locations, such as pubs, market stalls, ice cream or fast food vans and private homes (tab houses)
We can all make a real difference to help keep illegal tobacco off the streets by reporting it. If you spot anything suspicious you can report it anonymously by contacting our tobacco control officer on 01226 773536.
You can find out more information about illegal tobacco and what can be done about it.