Free exercise is up for grabs for smokers in Exmouth and East Devon keen to beat the evil weed, as part of national No Smoking Day

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Exmouth’s smokers are being offered free exercise in a bid to help them give up the evil weed.

Smokers throughout East Devon are being encouraged to ‘swap fags for swag’, and consider the financial benefits of quitting, on the 30th anniversary of No Smoking Day, on Wednesday March 13.

Leisure centres across East Devon, including Exmouth, will be offering special promotions to help smokers ditch the cigarettes for good – encouraging them to choose exercise instead.

To support smokers cleaning up their act, people who book their first appointment with Devon’s NHS stop smoking service during March will get a free Smokefree exercise voucher.

This can be exchange for a range of offers at their local leisure centre.

Participating leisure centres offering a total of three day passes for free include:

Exmouth Leisure Centre, Exmouth Tennis and Fitness Centre, Ottery St Mary Leisure Centre, Sidmouth Leisure Centre, Sidmouth Swimming Pool, Honiton Leisure Centre, Axminster Leisure Centre and Colyton Leisure Centre.

Professor Adrian Taylor, an expert of exercise and health psychology at the University of Exeter who has studied the effects of exercise on people trying to quit smoking, said evidence shows cravings are reduced by 30 per cent among temporarily abstinent smokers taking part in a single short session of brisk walking.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “No Smoking Day provides the perfect opportunity for people to join hundreds of others in Devon attempting to quit on the same day.

“This is why Devon’s efforts in spreading the word about the support available are so important, to help many make their first steps towards a healthier and wealthier, smoke free life.”

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