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Obese and smokers to be denied surgery in Devon

People who are morbidly obese will be denied surgery in Devon Credit: PA

Smokers and morbidly obese people in Devon will be denied routine surgery unless they quit smoking or lose weight.

Patients with a BMI of 35 or above will have to shed 5% of their weight - while smokers will have to quit eight weeks before surgery.

The NHS in Devon says the cuts are needed to help meet waiting list targets.

Smokers will have to give up before they are allowed surgery Credit: PA

Devon smoker quits after 50 years

Ann Veit finally managed to quit thanks to a stop smoking clinic at Axminster Medical Practice Credit: Northern Devon Healthcare Trust


By Claire Hayhurst, Press Association

A pensioner has finally kicked her 50-year-long smoking habit - after lighting up 750,000 cigarettes.

Ann Veit, 68, from Musbury, near Axminster in Devon, smoked around 40 cigarettes each day from the age of 15.

She attempted to quit smoking three times over the 50-year-period, trying hypnosis, acupuncture and patches.

However, the retired information systems manager eventually managed to give up in March, after attending a weekly NHS stop smoking clinic. She is being supported to quit with the use of patches and an inhaler.

Mrs Veit, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, has already seen significant improvement in the function of her lungs.

Carbon monoxide levels in her blood reduced from 26 parts per million (ppm) to just three in one week - the same levels as a non-smoker.

After a serious bout of pneumonia, which left me in hospital, I realised I must stop or I wouldn't last long.

Breathing is easier, I've got more energy, my self-esteem has improved and I no longer feel like a pariah.

I can also see the financial benefits - I've got more money in my purse at the end of the week.

It is hard, but never quit quitting. If I can do it after 50-odd years, there is hope for everyone.

– Ann Veit, Former smoker

The clinics are run at Axminster Medical Practice every Friday, along with three sessions a week in Honiton, Devon.


Plans to stamp out illegal tobacco in South West

Campaign to stop sale of illegal tobacco in South West Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A new campaign gets underway today to stamp out the sale of illegal tobacco in the region

This comes after new figures show 8 out of 10 people in the South West think the product-often smuggled in and unregulated- is a danger to children.

As it is cheaper than normal tobacco, it's also believed to make it easier for children to start smoking.

Most people unaware that half of smokers will die early

Now do you think smoking in cars should be banned if there are children in the vehicle? Last night MPs voted to back the proposal - although it could be some time before it becomes law.

The proposed legislation comes as Smokefree South West reveals almost 90% of people they spoke to were not aware half of smokers will die early.

Katie Rowlett has the story.

Devon signs up to national anti-smoking scheme

Devon County Council is promotng the danager of smoking Credit: ITV News West Country

Devon County Council will sign up to a national scheme today to protect residents from the risks of smoking.

The tobacco control declaration is part of the council's role in protecting the public from diseases such as lung cancer and heart disease.

The council will work with local communities to educate people about the dangers of smoking.


Anti-smoking campaign targets roll-ups

More people in the south west choose roll-ups over conventional cigarettes than elsewhere in the UK Credit: ITV Westcountry

People who smoke roll-ups are being targeted as part of a New Year campaign by Smokefree South West. The campaign aims to dispel the myth that they are less harmful than manufactured cigarettes. More than 4,000 toxic chemicals are inhaled when smoking a roll up.

Devon MP hosts meeting on plans for plain packaging on cigarettes

A Devon MP is hosting a meeting today at the Houses of Parliament on proposals for plain packaging on cigarettes. Campaign group Smokefree South West say plain packaging could protect children from taking up the habit.

MP Mel Stride is hosting a meeting today at the Houses of Parliament on proposals for plain packaging on cigarettes. Credit: ITV Westcountry

Smoking ban success

The number of people smoking outside Derriford hospital in Plymouth has gone down by 94 per cent after a ban was introduced last month to coincide with National No Smoking Day.

Derriford Hospital introduced a smoking ban last month Credit: ITV Westcountry

An audit by Smokefree Plymouth ten days after the ban was introduced showed numbers had decreased from 140 incidents in December to 9 in late March. Smokefree Plymouth says the ban has had a positive impact on the hospital environment.