TWO PINTS of lager, a packet of crisps and a nicotine patch is not the usual order received at a pub.

However, at the Old Farmhouse pub in Southampton landlady Jo Coxon and her staff would not bat an eyelid.

Jo and her partner Barrie Short, both 36, decided to offer their punters more than their regular tipple by hosting a regular quit smoking scheme at their Mount Pleasant Road pub.

Jo, who is trying to match Barrie's success by giving up smoking herself, said: "We contacted the Southampton Cityquitters just before Christmas about getting them to come in to help people quit smoking and we started running our group from January.

"We've got the ban on smoking in bars and pubs and enclosed public places coming in on July 1 so what better way to prepare for it than by giving up smoking? We thought let's go one step ahead and get the Cityquitters to come in to our pub and help our customers who want to give up while enjoying a pint and socialising with their friends."

Charlie Taylor, 66, of St Mary's, never considered giving up his 60-a-day habit until he saw the quit smoking posters at his local and decided to give it a try with successful results. He has now been cigarette-free for six weeks.

He said: "I've been smoking since I was 14. I joined up because of Barrie the landlord. He told me about the project and we decided to give it a go.

"It has been murder giving up but I'm glad that I've done it. They should have the scheme at all the pubs in Southampton. I would never have gone to my doctor or a clinic to seek advice on giving up and without the scheme here at the Old Farmhouse I would never have given up."

About 15 Old Farmhouse regulars are currently taking part in the scheme which is being run by Dave Hill and Debra Ramsey from Southampton Cityquitters.

It is believed to be the only pub in the city which offers this service.

Dave and Debra visit the Old Farmhouse every Monday from 6.30pm to monitor progress and give advice, support and encouragement.

Dave said: "It's a free service and we can give patches, gums or lozenges directly to the quitters or prescriptions if they want to try other products.

"We are trying to help people prepare for the ban on July 1 by helping them give up smoking.

"We have quite a high success rate here at the pub compared to others and we would like to get more pubs, bars and workplaces on board so that we can help more people."

For more information about giving up smoking or starting up a Cityquitters scheme, call 023 8051 5221 or visit