YELLOW fingers, bad breath and more than £1,500 a year is the least a 20-a-day habit could cost you.

Without those little leaf-filled tubes, lung cancer and emphysema would be almost non-existent, according to health sources.

It is for this reason that so many smokers are desperate to kill the habit before it kills them and what better opportunity than today, national No Smoking Day (Wednesday).

One former smoker who will be celebrating today is professional skier Paul Butler, from Pontyglasier, Crosswell, who has been smoke free for five months.

Paul, who gave up smoking for his nine year old son, said: "It is one of the hardest things I have ever done but with determination and the help of the NHS service I have been able to do it and my son is delighted."

Paul, who had been smoking for most of his adult life, has found that he is able to ski for longer since he quit.

Principle public health officer for the Pembrokeshire public health team and member of anti-smoking lobby group Ash, Ian Scale, advises Pembrokeshire smokers who want to give up to get support through GP surgeries, hospitals, workplaces, colleges and via the smoking cessation service.

He said: "There are hundreds of people in the county who have managed to quit. Like Paul, many of them find it a challenge, but with the help of friends, the local pharmacy and surgery, as well as the specialist service, it can be done."

Top tips to help you quit

Name the day you are going to stop. Chose a suitable treatment, patches, gum or spray. Call 0800 085 2219 for details of local support. Get family and friends to help. Keep a diary before giving up. Make a note of when you smoke and how it makes you feel. Use a diary to spot smoky situations in your day and plan how you might avoid each one. Smoking can seriously damage your wealth - plan how you'll spend the money you save.