Smokefree Devon Alliance Strategy 2023-28

Below is the headline document for the 2023 strategy for the Smokefree Devon Alliance.

if you wish to see a visual presentation of the headline document, please follow this link.


“The Smokefree Devon Alliance has been providing a co-ordinated, multi-agency approach to tobacco control since 2010. In that time, we have seen a fantastic amount of collaborative working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in Devon and a significant reduction in adult smoking prevalence. However, tobacco dependence is still the biggest cause of preventable illness and death, and high rates persist in some of our more vulnerable populations, making it a significant driver of health inequalities. We must therefore continue to focus on this important area. The Alliance will maintain and grow our strong pan-Devon partnership and provide strategic direction in all strands of tobacco control, so that we can reduce the harm caused to communities and strive for a smokefree future.”

Steve Brown

Co-Chair of the Smokefree Devon Alliance

Director of Public Health, Communities and Prosperity

Devon County Council

“Tobacco use is the single biggest cause of preventable death and illness. As a Smokefree Alliance we come together to demonstrate our recognition of the detrimental impact tobacco is having on people in Devon and Torbay, and to work strategically to reduce this impact. Creating a smokefree future would not only significantly lower the pressure on our hospitals and wider health care system, but it would support a greater quality of life for many local people. By working together, I know we can continue to make a difference to this very important area of work.”

Joanne Watson

Co-Chair of the Smokefree Devon Alliance

Health and Care Strategy Director, Director of Infection Control and Prevention, Consultant in Acute Medicine

Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust


Welcome to the strategy for the Smokefree Devon Alliance, which is a partnership of organisations committed to reducing the harm caused by tobacco in Devon.

We have chosen to set out the key elements of our strategy here, so it is easy to read, accessible and adaptable.

The formation of this strategy was based on extensive research into local data and insight, as well as exploration and collaboration between the multi-agency partners of the alliance. To view some of this background information, please see the Supporting Information document [publication due end June 2023].


Our vision is to create a Smokefree generation in Devon where people are protected from the harms caused by tobacco and second-hand smoke.

This ambition is achievable if we all work together. Tobacco impacts on all aspects of society, but the impact falls more heavily on our most vulnerable groups (ASH, 2023). We need to reduce these unjust inequalities caused by tobacco.

No single approach to tackling smoking will be successful; concerted, sustained, and co-ordinated action on a number of issues by a wide range of stakeholders, agencies and individuals is required.

This strategy sets out the aims and objectives of the Smokefree Devon Alliance for the next five years.


The aim of this strategy is to improve the health of Devon’s population by reducing the prevalence of smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke, in doing so reduce health inequalities and smoking related illnesses and deaths.


To achieve our aim, we have decided to focus on the following strategic priorities:

  • Priority 1:

Protect children and young people from the harms of tobacco and de-normalise tobacco use to help prevent uptake.

· Support smoke free pregnancies in line with NG209

· Ensure good quality antenatal support around smoking cessation and smokefree homes

· Raise awareness of the harms of secondhand smoke to children and young people and promote smokefree environments

· Ensure effective communication, regulation and enforcement of smokefree legislation, including the prevention of underage tobacco sales and adherence to vape regulations

· Monitor vape use in young people, respond to local intelligence and promote vape education in schools

· Uplift mass media campaigns

· Co-ordinate approaches across Devon and Torbay to tobacco and related products in schools, ensuring schools have access to tobacco education resources and example smokefree policies

· Ensure professionals routinely refer children and young people who smoke for support to quit which is age appropriate

· Support and protect children in care by working in partnership to ensure effective smokefree policies and support routes

  • Priority 2:

Reduce health inequalities caused by smoking, by supporting high quality evidence-based interventions, with a focus on achieving equity and fairness.

Smoking is the single most important driver of health inequalities (ASH, 2023). As smoking is so detrimental to health, any success in reducing prevalence amongst disadvantaged populations has an impact on reducing health inequalities.

· Ensure stop smoking services and pharmacotherapy are available and accessible to all

· Prioritise vulnerable groups in which smoking prevalence is high, or where the impact of tobacco use is particularly detrimental. We will respond to local data and insight, but will include those:

  • o living with mental health conditions
  • o currently pregnant or recently had a baby (including their families)
  • o working in routine and manual occupations
  • o living in areas of high deprivation
  • o at risk of or experiencing drugs and/or alcohol misuse
  • o living in social housing, vulnerably housed or experiencing homelessness
  • o in the criminal justice system

· Develop and strengthen cross-organisational pathways to increase the opportunities for vulnerable groups to access stop smoking support, including within the Voluntary, Community, Social Enterprise (VCSE) sectors

· Support delivery of the Treating Tobacco Dependence programme within NHS Trusts in Devon, Torbay and Plymouth, ensuring focus on actions which reduce health inequalities

  • Priority 3:

Ensure cross-sector, strategic collaboration around tobacco control, and support the development of a smokefree culture within key organisations.

· Connect organisations across the Integrated Care System on the topic of tobacco control, to ensure continued prioritisation and to provide a forum for debate, advocacy, collaboration and action

· Embed smokefree policies and stop smoking support in key organisations, particularly health and social care systems

· Support the Treating Tobacco Dependence steering group, ensuring good communication across the system and encouraging consideration of the wider culture within organisations which can support delivery

· Support organisations to consider the role of vaping in their smokefree policies, drawing on scientific evidence

· Continue to participate in CLeaR, an evidence-based improvement model to promote excellence in tobacco control


By 2028, the Smokefree Devon Alliance hopes to have achieved the following objectives:

1. There is sustained reduction in smoking prevalence compared to the baseline data in the indicators listed below:

Most recent figure at time of writing (April 2023) Indicator Last Updated Devon Torbay Plymouth

Smoking Status at Time of Delivery 11.6% 11.5% 11.5% 2021/22

Smoking prevalence in adults with a long-term mental health condition (18+) – current smokers (GPPS) 24.7% 33.3% 28.3% 2020/21

Smoking prevalence in adults in routine and manual occupations (18-64) – current smokers (APS) 23.7% 22.7% 28.6% 2020

Source: Tobacco Control Profiles (OHID, 2023)

2. There is good collaborative working across the Integrated Care System which enables a joined-up approach to smoking cessation, consistency, and equity in delivery. The Smokefree Devon Alliance, the Integrated Care Board, Local Maternity and Neo-Natal Services (LMNS), Public Health, community stop smoking services and secondary care are all connected and participating in discussions in partnership, and reporting structures are in place and working effectively.

3. The Smokefree Devon Alliance has prioritised supporting smoking cessation services to reach and support people with mental health conditions and pregnant women and people to quit each year across Devon and Torbay. This information is regularly collected and monitored, to allow measurement of progress towards this objective and for services to regularly evolve and improve.

4. The sale and supply of illegal tobacco in Devon is disrupted. Activity is measured by the quantity of illegal tobacco products (including vapes) seized by Trading Standards, the number of enforcement measures taken against suppliers and ultimately by a reduction of complaints. Also by the number of “cease and desist” letters sent to illegal tobacco sellers.

5. Data on smoking and vaping prevalence amongst children and young people in Devon and Torbay is routinely collected, enabling the actions of the Smokefree Devon Alliance to be informed by intelligence.

Strategy Implementation: Action Plan

Smokefree Devon Alliance members have outlined their actions towards this strategy in the action plan, to ensure effective delivery. Members are expected to directly update progress next to their relevant actions. The plan will be regularly reviewed at meetings.

Reporting Our Progress

An annual update summary report will be provided to Devon and Torbay Health and Wellbeing Boards.

This report will be created for the Summer meeting of the health and wellbeing boards. It will also be disseminated to other key stakeholders.

Please see the supporting document Smokefree Devon Alliance Background Information for more information on the Alliance’s governance structure.

The reporting timeline and log can be found here.


a) This is a shared vision to which we are all committed.

b) We will work together, be brave and innovative, and utilise the power of collective action and leadership.

c) We will draw on the best available evidence, insight, and intelligence. We will share good practice and listen to residents, communities, service users, and service deliverers.

Links to key reports and information

Speech from Neil O’Brien MP on Achieving a Smokefree 2030

Tobacco Control Plan for England

Devon Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Devon Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

Torbay Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Torbay Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA)

NICE Guidance 209 – Tobacco: preventing uptake, promoting quitting and treating dependence

The Khan review: making smoking obsolete


ASH, 2023. Tackling Inequalities. Available from: [Accessed 11 April 2023].

OHID, 2023. Local Tobacco Control Profiles. Available from:

This strategy will be led by the Smokefree Devon Alliance Steering Group which agrees and reviews an action plan each year.

To view previous years’ strategies visit the Strategies Archive.