SMOKERS in Oxfordshire are joining the first nationwide mass quit attempt.

The Stoptober campaign is backed by Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, and will encourage as many of Britain’s eight million smokers to quit successfully.

It sees smokers pledge to give up for 28 days from October 1 in the first mass quit attempt.

Research shows people who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke-free.

Amie Coles, of Chalgrove, has been smoking since she was 13.

Now 24, Miss Coles said she is finally ready to kick the 20-a-day habit after encouragement from her boyfriend, who stopped smoking two years ago.

She said: “I will do it without all the patches. I have got a packet of cigarettes in my bag but I won’t smoke them. For some reason it helps knowing they are there.”

Miss Coles, who works for the South Oxfordshire business unit firm Jennings, will quit alongside Ms Buck, 46, from nearby firm The Learning Ladder and Ms Leahy, 34, from firm Orchid. Mrs Buck, of Watlington, will be joined in her bid to quit, by son Brad, 25, and husband Bill 65. She said: “My son texted me saying ‘please do Stoptober with me mum’. You can’t say no to that.”

For more information, see Picture: OX54698 Ed Nix