Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale (left to right): Jan Spence, Debbie Hardwick, Lesley Spurr
Anyone caught dropping cigarette butts in Calderdale West Yorkshire is offered a choice: pay an £80 fine or visit Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale for help in quitting smoking.
The scheme, the first of its type in the UK, was the brainchild of Yorkshire Smokefree Calderdale and Calderdale Council, which spends over £1.5m per year cleaning up cigarette related litter. The pilot started in September 2014, so numbers are small; however of six referrals, two have quit, one for over six months and the other is heading towards four weeks.
Judge Rachael Murray thought the pilot was a good idea but wanted to see longer term figures. Fellow judge Alex Bobak commented: ‘What a great idea; turning a negative into a positive.’