New hard-hitting campaign targets Devon smokers

Posted on: 4 January 2018

Last year around 1,250 people in Devon died due to a smoking-related illness, and there were over 8,000 smoking attributable hospital admissions.

Devon County Council’s Public Health team and OneSmallStep, the Council’s commissioned healthy lifestyle service, is gearing up to support smokers wanting to quit, in the wake of a new Public Health England campaign featuring a TV advert highlighting the dangers of tar in cigarettes, targeting the seven million people in the UK who still smoke.

The latest campaign shows how poisons from tar in cigarettes enter the bloodstream, spreading around the body within seconds and causing damage to major organs.

Eloise a smoker from Devon said: “I’ve tried to quit smoking on and off for years, but this time I’m really determined.

“Finding out about the cancer-causing chemicals that are in my blood due to smoking was really scary but it it’s encouraging to learn that once you quit many of them, such as carbon monoxide, can fall fast.

“There has never been more support available, so with the help of Smokefree and e-cigarettes this new year I’m kicking the habit for good!”

To help explain the ongoing internal harm being caused, a group of seven lifelong smokers – including TV presenter and entrepreneur – Hilary Devey declare their intention to quit in January after seeing the results of a lab demonstration. The test results show how their smoking has led to elevated levels of cadmium (a metal used in batteries), cancer-causing nitrosamines and carbon monoxide in their blood. These toxic substances are amongst over 4,000 chemicals released into the body with each cigarette smoked, including more than 70 known cancer-causing compounds.

Elevated levels of these substances were seen in the participants’ blood and can lead to an increased risk of major damage to the body.

In the new film that supports the TV advert, Dr Dawn Harper, GP from Gloucester, explains the results of the tests to the smokers and how the quality of their blood would start to improve when they quit – ridding them of harmful poisons which cause major damage to the body. Dr Dawn advises the smokers that there are many ways to quit, including free proven support from NHS Smokefree. People can choose what works best for them: face-to-face help, stop smoking aids, a quitting app, email, social media, and SMS support.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said: “We all know that smoking is bad for us, but many of us don’t actually realise just how many adverse ways it can affect our health.  Smoking not only damages our heart and internal organs, but it also poisons our blood, increases the likelihood of a number of cancers including breast cancer, and causes premature ageing to our skin.

“Taking the decision to quit could be the best decision a person could make for themselves and their families, and there is a wealth of support and advice available to anyone who needs it, including our telephone support service at OneSmallStep.”

Smokefree provides motivation, information and support for smokers who want to stop. Just search ‘Smokefree’ for free support and advice to help you quit smoking.

Devon residents can get free telephone support by contacting OneSmallStep, the Council’s healthy lifestyle service – (Freephone) 0800 298 2654  (Local rate)  01392 908 139.  Lines open Monday to Friday 9.00am – 6.30pm

Find out more at

Be the first to Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Comments are held for moderation. House rules

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing