New research has revealed that many school children are endangering their long-term health.
A new study by Cancer Research UK found that an estimated 157,000 pupils aged between 11 and 15 start smoking every year in the UK - enough to fill 5,200 classrooms or nearly 14,000 junior football teams.
The charity states that these figures show the scale of the tobacco problem in the UK and highlight the importance of campaigns to discourage young people to stop smoking.
In 2010, the group found that three per cent of all 13-year-olds smoke regularly and four per cent said they used to have the habit.
Half or all long-term smokers will die or tobacco-related diseases and around 100,000 breathe their last breath every year.
Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "Far too many young people start smoking every year. We must act to bring this number down."
She believes that selling cigarettes in standardised packs will help reduce the appeal of smoking and give children one less reason to start smoking.