Health and Wellbeing

Make this year your quit year

Designed by nensuria / Freepik

Posted on: 22 January 2019

As we start the new year, many of us are taking steps towards, or at least contemplating, changes we can make to improve our lifestyles. With adverts in the newspapers, television and social media vying for our attention about the latest diet, exercise programmes or relaxation technique it can feel like we are being bombarded with a host of different priorities for our health and wellbeing. As a result, we can feel so overwhelmed we end up doing nothing.

If you are a smoker, though, the decision about what to do is far easier – conclusive evidence suggests the single best thing you can do for your health and wellbeing in 2019 is to quit smoking.

Latest available figures show that 13.5% of adults in Devon smoke, which, despite being slightly below the national rate, means that the cost to Devon’s communities is £152.6m a year.  Despite a contribution to the Exchequer, tobacco still costs the local economy in Devon more than the duty raised. This results in a shortfall of about £69.1m each year.

50-year-old Gena, from North Devon has been smoke free for six months following support from OneSmallStep – the healthy lifestyle support service commissioned by Devon County Council.   Last year Devon’s Stop Smoking Services helped around 2,850 smokers to make a quit attempt.

quit smoking advertisement, persons hand breaking in half a cigarette

A smoker of 20 roll ups a day, she had never attempted to quit before. Gena made the decision to do so after the death of her mother.

“I wasn’t enjoying smoking, it was just a habit and I often had a bad chest. I saw my mother die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) four years previously and I didn’t want my children to go through the same trauma.”

Gena attended her local stop smoking clinic in Bideford, where she discussed with a specialist advisor discussed what type of stop smoking support would best suit her, and decided she would like to use a 16-hour patch and an inhalator.

And despite a recent bereavement, Gina has coped without smoking and feels confident she will not smoke again.

Gena says: “Having someone to speak to on a regular basis gave me the motivation to stay smoke free.  Even when it was really tough I was supported to develop a number of useful strategies to deal with my cravings, things like getting rid of any tobacco in the house, in preparation for the next day, and recognising what my triggers are.”

Since quitting, Gena says she feels healthier and much more determined to stay smoke free.

“I haven’t smoked for six months. I feel positive, I no longer smell of smoke and I have more money in my bank account. To anyone else living in Devon and thinking of quitting, I would say go for it – get in touch with One Small Step today.”

OneSmallStep is a free service to support adults in Devon to improve their health and wellbeing through making small changes to their lifestyle.  The service offers telephone coaching, online support and a free mobile app, Rally.

Speak to a OneSmallStep specialist adviser today on 01392 908 139

Or visit one of the stop smoking mobile clinics:

  • January 24th and 31st Market Street, Newton Abbot.
  • February 7th and 14th Market Street, Newton Abbot.
  • February 21st and 28th Lidl Exeter, Burnthouse Lane.
  • March 7th and 14th Market Street, Newton Abbot.
  • March 21st and 28th Lidl Exeter, Burnthouse Lane.
  • April 4th and 11th Market Street, Newton Abbot.
  • April 18th and 25th Lidl Exeter, Burnthouse Lane.

Image credit

2 comments on “Make this year your quit year

  1. anon says:

    How is the £152.6m figure calculated?

    • louise raymond says:

      The local costs of tobacco are taken from the data generated by a public health charity – ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) – using their ready reckoner tool. This is freely available for anyone to use on their website here:

      If you set the filter options to ‘South West’ and then ‘Devon’, the report will then break down the costs.

Posted in: Community | DCC Homepage | Health and Wellbeing