Although about half of all persistent smokers eventually get killed by their habit, stopping smoking works - smokers who stop before they have incurable cancer, or some other serious disease, do avoid most of their risk of eventually being killed by tobacco.
In the first decade of the new millennium there will be about a million British deaths from smoking, and the only way to cut that number substantially is for lots of adult smokers to decide that for them the benefits of stopping are worth the effort.
Professor RICHARD PETO
Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine
University of Oxford