PENSIONER FINALLY QUITS SMOKING
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.
The clinics are run at Axminster Medical Practice every Friday, along with three sessions a week in Honiton, Devon.
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.
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.
One in two smokers in the South West will die early, according to a new TV ad campaign. More than 800 thousand people smoke across the region, and almost 8,500 of those could die of smoking-related diseases, according to the group Smoke Free South West.
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.
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.
A West Country MP is backing a regional campaign for cigarettes to be sold in plain packaging. Mel Stride says branding plays an important part in persuading people to smoke.
The campaign has got the backing of a teenager from the region whose father and two grandparents died from smoking-related lung cancer. Ken Goodwin reports.
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.
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.
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.