CARED Tobacco Addiction Team: Helping patients take their first step to a smokefree life - Public Health Dorset


CARED Tobacco Addiction Team: Helping patients take their first step to a smokefree life

Smoking is one of the main preventable causes of death in the UK and has a big impact on a number of health outcomes, but it is often an addiction rather than a lifestyle choice. Evidence shows that smokers are more likely to quit when they receive professional support, and we have a number of services in Dorset that help residents quit smoking and improve their health.

Through the CARED Tobacco Addiction Team, we’re working to build stop-smoking support into the routine care that patients receive when they’re admitted to hospital. The team visit wards at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) and talks to patients who smoke about how quitting will benefit their health and offer a range of support options.

Kevin Smith, Treating Tobacco Dependency Support Worker, has helped many patients at DCH stop smoking. Kevin shares how he helped Stubby Tout, a smoker of 40 years with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung condition often caused by smoking, commit to quit.


“I first met Stubby with his wife Patty, a nonsmoker, on the Respiratory Ward. He was very breathless and on two litres of oxygen as well as regular nebulisers, antibiotics, and other medication.

“Stubby’s opening line was ‘too late to stop now’ – a common situation in my role as a Tobacco Dependency Support worker.

“Stubby needed home oxygen but as a smoker, this is not allowed. I went through my assessment with him, and we decided on some Nicotine Replacement Therapy patches to help meet his nicotine needs.

“I was able to check in with Stubby regularly during his stay in hospital to see how he was getting on and build on the rapport we had. Once, it was time to send Stubby home, he decided he would commit to quit smoking. After trying many times in the past and failing, he felt more determined than before to stay smokefree. We sent him home with 14 days’ supply of nicotine and planned some check-in phone calls.

“Seven days after Stubby was discharged, I called to check-in and see how he was – great news, he was still smokefree. I could hear Stubby’s wife’s delight at the other end of the phone, and it was nice to hear Stubby not gasping for breath too.

“After 28 days – which is our usual check-in – I called Stubby again. Still smokefree and even better news, his sats on exertion were 91%, meaning he didn’t need home oxygen. By quitting smoking, Stubby became less breathless and was able get around much better than before. Both Stubby and his wife were happy.

“Stopping smoking is not easy, but the benefits to the individual and their families and friends are huge. And it’s never too late to stop smoking and once you do, your overall health will improve.”


If you would like to quit smoking but you are not sure what steps to take, contact LiveWell Dorset. They offer free support, advice and coaching to help Dorset residents over 18 years improve their health and wellbeing.

LiveWell will help you choose the right tailored support for you from the range of stop smoke options available:

  • Face-to-face support from a local pharmacy
  • Vape starter kit
  • LiveWell coaching sessions
  • Allen Carr’s Easyway one-day seminar
  • Pack of nicotine gum and patches

Register today at or by freephone on 0800 840 1628.

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