THE North East is one of the regions that has benefited the most since the introduction of the smoking ban five years ago.
In July 2007, lighting cigarettes in virtually all enclosed public places was made illegal.
And according to figures from Fresh, the UK’s first dedicated regional programme for tobacco control, it has helped the North East to achieve the biggest decline in smoking of any region in England, down from 29 percent in 2005 to 21 percent in 2011.
In a recent survey, 86 per cent of adults in the region agreed that second-hand smoke has a big or some impact on increasing risks to a child’s health.
Fresh Director Ailsa Rutter said: “Support for the smoke-free law has been incredibly high and it is a measure that worked. It was always about reducing exposure to second-hand smoke and continuing to reduce the impact of our biggest killer, but it also encouraged some smokers to quit.
“We have gone from being the region with the worst smoking rates to the region known nationally for tackling the harm tobacco causes.
“We must not forget, however, that there is still a great deal of work to be done in tackling tobacco. Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death and disease in the North East.”