A Melksham mum has used No Smoking Day to speak out about what giving up smoking has helped her do, including completing her second half marathon.

Mel Powell, 35, kicked her 20-year habit in April 2012, after worrying about the impact it was having on her health and her young children.

She said: “The moment I realised I should stop smoking was when I spotted my five-year-old daughter Molly mimicking me as I was smoking outside. I didn’t like my two children seeing me smoke.

“I had been smoking about 20 a day for 20 years and had tried to quit a few times without success, but this time nobody was on my case and it just felt right.

“Back in May I was able to buy a second-hand BMW with the £1,200 I had saved from not smoking.

“I also took up running as a means of distracting me from my cravings.

"I ran the Bath Half Marathon this year and last which is a real change from where I was, as I used to struggle to breathe running up the stairs.”

She joined the estimated 32,000 people in the South West who gave up smoking last year using the free NHS Stop Smoking Service, which launched a new public information campaign today - national No Smoking Day.

Billboards will go up across the county as part of the ‘Be there tomorrow’ campaign, which highlights the loss experienced by families of smokers who have died.

Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West, said: “It is easy to put things off, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

“We are urging people in the South West to use No Smoking Day this week to quit the habit before it’s too late.”

To find out more about the campaign or your local free NHS Stop Smoking Service, visit www.betheretomorrow.co.uk