Shh! We all know smoking kills, but reminding smokers of the fact apparently sends them into a nicotine laden depression.

Forget blackened lungs and amputated toes - the best way to wean cigarette addicts off their habit is to tell them how unattractive it makes them, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The study found that cigarette packets carrying death-related messages only encouraged people to smoke more to cope with the inevitability of dying.

The message to smoking cessation services? Avoid gloomy talk of death and instead warn of the dangers of smelly breath - and smokers prone to existential musings might be advised to avoid the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Morrissey.