Hospital patients and soon-to-be parents offered stop smoking support in Dorset

Specialist stop smoking teams are now offering dedicated support to hospital inpatients and soon-to-be parents across Dorset, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to tackle the major causes of ill health.

Specialist stop smoking teams are now offering dedicated support to hospital inpatients and soon-to-be parents across Dorset, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to tackle the major causes of ill health. 

According to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and premature death, accounting for approximately 74,600 deaths a year in England. 

Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and dramatically reduces both quality of life and life expectancy. 

The Treating Tobacco Dependency programme, supported by Public Health Dorset, helps tackle this by supporting people to quit and therefore reducing their risk of developing smoking related illnesses. 

The programme offers 1 to 1 behavioural support and free Nicotine Replacement Therapy in hospitals and maternity services, with public health and NHS services working together to embed opportunities to improve health outcomes for Dorset residents. 

The Smoking in Pregnancy service forms part of the programme, with the team at University Hospitals Dorset (UHD) supporting pregnant smokers across East Dorset to quit, along with other smokers in their household. Stopping smoking during pregnancy is proven to be beneficial to the health of both mother and baby, with research showing that women who smoked during pregnancy are nearly three times more likely to give birth prematurely than non-smokers.

Heidi Croucher, Dorset’s Treating Tobacco Dependency Programme Manager, said:

“Engaging with pregnant people in a supportive and non-judgmental way during a check-up about the benefits of stopping smoking for their health and their babies, is the most successful way to motivate them to quit. 

“Having a smoking cessation service in Dorset helps us reduce harmful risks to babies and their families by providing a smokefree start in life.

“If you are pregnant and a smoker, you should talk to your midwife to see what support you can get to stop smoking.” 

Another team working to support people to quit smoking is the Tobacco Addiction Team, who work at Dorset County Hospital (DCH) with any inpatients admitted to the hospital who are smokers.

Data from the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities states that almost every minute of every day someone is admitted to hospital because of smoking.

The NHS Long Term Plan highlights that smokers see their GP over a third more often than non-smokers, and smoking is linked to nearly half a million hospital admissions each year. The CARED Tobacco Addiction help to tackle this by working with patients who are in hospital, and offering Nicotine Replacement Therapy and referrals to LiveWell Dorset for ongoing support for anyone who is a smoker.

The team have helped many patients admitted to hospital take their first step to a smokefree life. 

Kevin Smith, Treating Tobacco Dependency Support Worker, shared how he recently supported Stubby, a smoker of 40 years:

“I first met Stubby with his wife Patty, a non-smoker, 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. I went through my assessment with him, and we decided on some Nicotine Replacement Therapy patches to help meet his nicotine needs.

“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.”

You can read more about Stubby’s smokefree journey in a new blog posted on the Public Health Dorset website.

You can hear more about the work of the CARED Tobacco Addiction Team on the Public Health Dorset YouTube channel, and to find out more about Dorset’s Tobacco Dependency programme, visit

If you smoke and would like some support to stop, LiveWell Dorset can help. 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.

Published on:
18/10/2023, 15:02