Barnsley College students to receive £35 gift cards for quitting smoking in pilot scheme

Students in Barnsley will be offered financial incentives to quit smoking, under a new pilot scheme.

Monday, 6th June 2022, 3:29 pm
Updated Monday, 6th June 2022, 3:51 pm

Barnsley Council has teamed up with Barnsley College to offer students £35 gift cards for successfully quitting for twelve weeks.

The Barnsley gift cards can be spent in more than 250 venues around the borough, including Marks and Spencer, River Island, Primark, Barnsley Markets and the Market Kitchen.

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As of 2021, 18.3 per cent of adults in Barnsley smoked, and it is estimated that 1,350 cancers diagnosed in South Yorkshire every year are caused by smoking.

As of 2021, 18.3 per cent of adults in Barnsley smoked, and it is estimated that 1,350 cancers diagnosed in South Yorkshire every year are caused by smoking.

It costs the NHS more than £26m a year to treat smoking-related hospital admissions in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

This new scheme will be funded through the council’s COVID-19 recovery fund.

Carbon monoxide monitoring will validate these continued quits, which is already offered to students by the college’s smoking advisors.

Councillor Caroline Makinson, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities said: “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 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.”