HUDDERSFIELD smokers are being encouraged to spend a day without cigarettes when national No Smoking Day takes place on March 9.

More than 4m smokers across the country are expected to take part in this year's event, organised to get more people to quit the unhealthy habit.

The campaign comes after health experts revealed that the benefits of stopping smoking start at once.

Twenty minutes after quitting a smoker's blood pressure starts to return to normal. And after 24 hours the lungs start to clear out the build- up of tar.

Nicotine will have almost cleared out of the body within two days and after a few weeks any exercising will become easier.

Research also shows that the risk of a heart attack is halved five years after stopping smoking.

It is estimated that a smoker on 20 cigarettes a day would save £9,000 in the five years after quitting.

People wanting to quit smoking should follow these tips:

* Find your nearest NHS stop smoking service by calling 0800 169 0169.

* Get some nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches or gum. These can double your chances of stopping. Talk to your GP or chemist.

* Write down all the reasons you want to stop and tape it to the fridge to help you stay motivated.

* Enlist the help of family and friends.

* Log on to www.nosmokingday.