OXFORD City Council is encouraging smokers to quit the cigs with the help available on National No Smoking Day today.

By encouraging residents to exercise regularly, the authority says there is a much greater chance of them being able to give up the habit.

GO Active is a partnership with initiatives throughout Oxfordshire which offers fitness activities and classes, including some in Oxford.

Free health walks take place in some of the city’s beautiful green spaces and Healthy New Town Funding will support professionals to deliver free advice in Barton about alcohol and smoking.

Marie Tidball, the city council’s board member for young people, schools and public health, said: “We know smoking is a killer and has serious long-term effects on health. Exercise increases the chances of someone quitting successfully.

“That’s why the city council is offering lots of leisure opportunities to enable people to use exercise to help them quit and stop smoking long-term.”

According to Cancer Research UK experts, smoking is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer across the world. It causes over a quarter of cancer deaths in the UK and nearly one in five cancer cases across the country.

Two years ago, 15.5 per cent of adults were smokers. That proportion was down from 19.9 per cent in 2010 and further down from 26.8 per cent in 2000. Other estimates said there were 474,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking in 2015/16 – which was an increase from 458,000 in 2005/6. Proportionately the amount families spend on smoking has fallen recently.