Health and Wellbeing

Quit and get fit – Exeter leisure centre celebrates No Smoking Day

Posted on: 12 March 2013

Exeter’s Riverside Leisure Centre is joining forces with Devon’s public health team to celebrate national No Smoking Day (Wednesday, 13 March).

The celebration event will also offer free badminton and circuits, for people to have a taster of what’s on offer at their local leisure centres, many of which are offering special promotions to help smokers ditch the cigarettes for good and get into exercise.  Smoking cessation advisors will also be on hand to offer advice and support to anyone thinking of quitting.

People who book their first appointment with the Devon’s stop smoking service during March will get a free ‘Smokefree exercise voucher’, which they will be able to exchange for a range of offers at their local leisure centre.*

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon’s Director of Public Health said: “We know that people are four times more likely to stop smoking if they use NHS support.

“People often replace one type of behaviour with another, so it’s a great opportunity for them to begin a new and healthy activity while ditching an unhealthy one.”

Professor Adrian Taylor, professor of exercise and health psychology at the University of Exeter, has studied the effects of exercise on people trying to quit smoking.

“Evidence shows that a short single session of even brisk walking reduces cravings by about 30% among temporarily abstinent smokers,” he said.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“We’re really grateful to the district councils for their support of this initiative, which will provide a great incentive for people to join their local gym or take up an exercise class. 

“And with the money they’re saving by not smoking, people can reward themselves for quitting with a trip to the cinema, a meal out, or some other treat.”

The annual No Smoking Day health campaign, run by the British Heart Foundation, is now in its 30th year. It helped more than 760,000 people quit smoking last year and inspired another 1.5 million to seek out information to help them quit in future.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust runs a stop smoking service that covers the whole of Devon. It offers practical support and guidance on the best methods for each individual to quit smoking and over 70 per cent of people are successful in quitting.

Sessions are held in local health centres, GP surgeries, pharmacies, leisure centres and village halls. For a full list of venues or to sign-up call 01884 836 024 or visit the website.

For more information on the benefits of quitting as well as top quit tips, visit

*Participating leisure centres include:

  • Clifton Hill Sports Centre – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • Exeter Arena – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • The Isca Centre – 2 free beginner adult bowls sessions
  • Northbrook Swimming Pool – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • Pyramids Swimming and Leisure Centre – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • Riverside Leisure Centre – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • Wonford Sports Centre – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • North Devon Leisure Centre – 2 Day Expressions Pass
  • Ivybridge Leisure Centre – 3 day pass
  • Dartmouth Leisure Centre – 3 day pass
  • Quayside Leisure Centre – 3 day pass
  • Newton Abbot Leisure Centre – 6 free swims/classes
  • Broadmeadow Sports Centre – 6 free classes
  • Dawlish Leisure Centre – 6 free swims/classes
  • Parklands, Okehampton – 3 day gym/swim
  • Meadowlands, Tavistock – 3 day swim
  • Culm Valley Sports Centre – three day pass for swimming and selected classes
  • Exe Valley Leisure Centre – three day pass for swimming and selected classes
  • Lords meadow Leisure Centre – three day pass for swimming and selected classes
  • Axminster Leisure Centre (3 day pass)
  • Colyton Leisure Centre (3 day pass)
  • Exmouth Leisure Centre (3 day pass)
  • Exmouth Tennis and Fitness Centre (3 day pass)
  • Honiton Leisure Centre (3 day pass)
  • Ottery St Mary Leisure Centre (3 day pass)
  • Sidmouth Leisure Centre (3 day pass)
  • Sidmouth Swimming Pool (3 day pass)

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