SMOKERS are being given free help quitting the habit by health bosses.

The Essex Wellbeing Service is urging people to kick the habit as part of the annual Stoptober campaign this month.

It is working with pharmacies across Essex to offer free nicotine replacement therapy to help smokers quit.

They will be offered weekly supplies of NRT for up to eight weeks and support from trained staff.

The combination makes it four times more likely to successfully quit than going cold turkey.

More than 13,000 people across Essex have stopped smoking with the team in the last four years.

A spokesman said: "This year, more than any, we want to encourage anyone who may be considering quitting, to get in touch.

"Smoking could make it more likely that you will catch Covid-19 and evidence suggests that smokers are more likely to become seriously ill from the virus."

For more information contact the Essex Wellbeing Service on 0300 303 9988 or email