Smokers have been encouraged to quit so that they deter the next generation from picking up the habit.

This is part of a campaign from the NHS, which is urging some of the 5.3 million adult smokers in the UK to give it up.

Doctors, former smokers and ex-footballers, including former England goalkeeper David James, are among key figures featured in the campaign.

Nick Hopkinson, a professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London, said their research suggests children between the ages of 14 and 17 are three times more likely to take up smoking if people around them smoke.

Ham & High: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that he wants to create a smoke-free generationPrime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that he wants to create a smoke-free generation (Image: PA)

Speaking to the PA news agency he added: “We know that most people who smoke start smoking as teenagers, and taking up smoking at a young age is linked to a greater risk of health problems later in life.”

Tens of thousands die from smoking-related illnesses every year

According to the NHS, about 76,000 people die every year from a smoking-related illness with many more living with debilitating smoking-related conditions.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty said: “Smoking causes many serious diseases that affect people throughout their lives.

“Stopping people becoming addicted to smoking and helping those who have been addicted to quit are two of the most important measures we can take to improve health.

“Quitting will improve your health whatever your age and no matter how long you have smoked. It’s never too late to stop.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has previously stated he wants to create a “smoke-free generation”.

He plans to implement legislation that would essentially prevent anyone who turns 14 this year from ever buying cigarettes.

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Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said: “Over three quarters of the public support the Prime Minister’s ambition to create a smoke-free generation.

“Legislation to end cigarette sales to anyone born on or after January 1 2009 will be crucial to delivering that ambition. But as role models for their children, parents who smoke can play their part too.

“Stopping smoking will not only improve their health and put money in their pocket, but also significantly increase the chances their children will grow up to be part of the smoke-free generation.”