Smoking Targets Harder to Meet

Devon is the only place in the South West that didn't exceed its stop smoking targets last year.

The latest figures show 34,000 gave up across the region in 2009 with the other 13 areas in the region all doing better than expected.

Greg Price from NHS Devon's Stop Smoking service says there are several reasons why the county didn't do the same: "the smoking prevalance in Devon is very, very low in the first place and in addition to that the smokers we are left with tend to be heavily addicted and a lot of them contented to continue to smoke."

He continued: "people talk about us having picked all the low hanging fruit off of the tree and we are left with those individuals out there who are contented to continue to smoke."

It is a sentiment that Doctor David Phillips from Smokefree South West echoes: "we're now getting down to the people who've either had many attempts to quit or have been smoking a long time and it is a much more difficult proposition."

In future there is going to be a lot more focus on young people in the region as it is revealed one in three here smoke compared to one in five adults.

Dr Phillips says they are adapting the way they reach certain groups: "I don't think if we are honest that some of the interventions we have put in place have been the best for those groups so what we do need to do is become much smarter at working with them and using the sort of technologies and communication - for example texting and blogging, tweeting etc - that is second nature to young people and second nature to a lot of people now."

To listen to the full interview with Dr. David Phillips CLICK HERE

To find your local NHS stop smoking service text local and postcode 88088 or you can find out more on the Smokefree South West website here