By Ella Pickover
Thousands of smokers are stubbing out their last cigarette as they take part in a "mass quit" attempt.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Government's principle medical adviser, has called on the nation's eight million smokers to take part in "Stoptober" which challenges smokers to quit for a month.
Research shows that people who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke-free, she said.
The campaign, backed by Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation, has television and radio adverts and roadshows around the country. Smokers can also download an app which encourages them to kick the habit.
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the foundation, said: "The benefits of quitting are enormous. Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your own health as well as those you love and live with. Quitting also makes you look better by improving your skin and teeth and, of course, it helps your finances too.
"About two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit, so Stoptober provides a great opportunity to join thousands of people in the same situation and ditch the cigarettes for good."
Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "Smoking accounts for one in four cancer deaths and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases, so it's vital that work continues to support smokers to quit."