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Last Updated: Wednesday March 08 2006 07:46 GMT

No smoking drive across Britain

Cigarette being stubbed out
A push to stop smoking started across the UK on Wednesday, as No Smoking Day urged people to give the habit up.

In the UK about 450 children start smoking every day. One in five 15-year-olds smoke and eight out of 10 smokers started when they were teens.

The habit can cause lots of diseases, like cancer and heart problems.

One chemist is offering cut-price nicotine patches to help people quit, and the cash they raise will go to stop smoking programmes in schools.

Singer Charlotte Church, who's recently kicked the habit herself, was backing the campaign.

Charlotte said: "Now that I've stopped, it's got so much better. The first two weeks were tough, and the first month I still really missed it, but I feel so much healthier now and can really feel the difference in my voice."

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