FORMER smokers have spoken out about the benefiting of kicking the habit in an effort to encourage others to give up.

More than 28,000 people have been helped to quit by the Anglian Community Enterprise Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service.

Christine Lewkowytsch, of Rigby Avenue, Mistley, said it was losing three friends in the past year to smoking-related illnesses that had made her determined to quit.

The 66-year-old, who had been smoking for 38 years, said: “Sarah Leach at the Stop Smoking Service has been brilliant helping me. Her help has made all the difference and I’ve never felt better.”

For more details about the service, call 08007 312656 or 01206 545134.