Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with Barnsley Council, has become the first hospital site in the country to have surrounding smoke-free and vape-free road areas.

The hospital currently is a smoke-free site for staff members and visitors and, from Wednesday 28 July, the parts of Pogmoor Road and Gawber Road that surround the hospital will also be smoke-free and vape-free.

This is a further move towards the goal of ‘making smoking invisible’ across Barnsley, which aims to denormalise smoking, particularly around children, so they are less likely to start smoking. The smoke-free roads initiative is part of a wider scheme in Barnsley, which has already introduced smoke-free play areas in local parks and a smoke-free and vape-free zone in Barnsley Pals Centenary Square in recent years.

This initiative also supports the Hospital’s Healthy Lives programme, which focuses on helping hospital staff, visitors and patients to live healthier lives and includes the QUIT stop smoking support service.

The eye-catching signage, which will be displayed across the two roads and on the pavement, has been created by 11-year-old Jasmine Hurdiss. Jasmine’s artwork promotes the QUIT service and encourages people not to smoke around the hospital.

Barnsley Hospital Trust Chief Executive Doctor Richard Jenkins said: “By making smoking invisible, we can contribute to children and adults not taking up the habit as it reduces smoking being seen as a normal activity.

“Most people in Barnsley don’t smoke, and the numbers that do are falling – less than two in ten people now smoke in the borough.

“The QUIT programme at the hospital recognises that smoking is an addiction that often starts in childhood and needs medical treatment to support people to stop. Therefore, making smoking invisible in areas around the hospital and where children frequent is very important.”

Councillor Jim Andrews, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, added: “In 2016, we set out a vision to create several smoke-free zones across our borough, and we want this to be the latest in a long line of successes. We hope people will show consideration for others by not smoking in this new smoke-free area.

“Children and young people are influenced by adult behaviour and are less likely to start smoking if they do not view it as a normal part of everyday life. By making smoking invisible to children, we hope to vastly reduce the number of children and young people picking up the habit and inspire a smoke-free generation.

“Support for people in our borough to stop smoking is available through Yorkshire Smokefree, please go to barnsley.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk to find out more.

“I’d also like to thank Jasmine for her brilliant drawing; I’m sure she’s proud as punch to see it used for the signage.”