Smokers across England are being urged to quit for a month in a government campaign.
Research has shown that people who manage to stop smoking for that length of time are more likely not to start again.
“Stoptober” takes place for 28 days from 1 October.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said it was the first time that the government had launched a “mass quit attempt”.
The campaign will involve TV and radio advertising, a daily messaging service and roadshows around the country. There is also a Stoptober app and a Facebook page.
Health Minister Norman Lamb, who said he quit smoking last week, told BBC Breakfast the campaign was “a good investment in health promotion”.
“I think it’s well worth trying this approach,” he said.
“And if we can get people working locally together collectively to give up we can have a real impact.”
The Stoptober wheel will travel the country so people can sign it and pledge to quit
Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London, meanwhile, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that smokers tended to stop “in clumps”.
It’s key that smokers don’t give up trying to give up”
Jean King, Cancer Research UK
“We are social animals, we are herd animals and we are influenced by each other,” he said.
He added: “So I think there’s good reason to believe setting it up as a mass movement, if you like, would give you a bit of extra bang for your buck.”
Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK, which is backing the campaign, 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.
“Breaking the addiction is difficult, so new and innovative campaigns such as this are hugely important.”
She added: “It’s key that smokers don’t give up trying to give up.”