Anti-smoking campaigners are calling for the largest ever mass quit attempt in October 2012 as Newcastle pushes to become the first city in the UK to become smoke-free.
Stoptober, which takes place from October 1, and is backed by Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation, is the first 28-day quit attempt of its kind to encourage the nation's eight million smokers to give up.
The campaign is being launched after council leader Nick Forbes revealed proposals to make Newcastle the first smoke-free city in the UK by 2032.
Sky Tyne and Wear joined the Labour leader as he asked people shopping in Newcastle city centre what they thought of proposals to stamp out smoking.
In the North East, which has successfully reduced the number of adults who smoke from 24.2 percent in 2009 to 21.5 percent in 2011, the goal of a smoke-free UK within two decades is being actively promoted by Fresh, the regional office for tobacco control.
Ailsa Rutter, the organisation's chief executive, said: "Our vision is to make smoking history for our children in the next 20 years and we know there are millions out there that back this."
Campaigners say they are not pushing for a ban, but want to make cigarettes more expensive, less well advertised and too socially unacceptable for most people to continue smoking.Proposals to reduce the desirability of tobacco by forcing the industry to sell it in unbranded packaging are being assessed by the Government.
The Department of Health says it has an "open mind" about the idea, which is fiercely opposed by the tobacco industry.
UK campaigners have been spurred on by initiatives elsewhere, including attempts in Australia to make it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone born after the year 2000.
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