Council bosses are considering a range of measures to tackle South Tyneside’s dangerous £50million smoking habit.
The council’s cabinet members are to be presented with a series of recommendations next week after the people select committee established a commission to address high smoking rates.
The commission was set up after the borough was placed as the fifth worst area in the country for people being admitted to hospital with smoking related issues, according to information published by Public Health England.
Each smoker spends £2,000 annually on cigarettes, which leads to health conditions that cost the NHS in South Tyneside between £11million and £22million every year.
Coun Eileen Leask, a member of the people select committee, said: “Lung cancer is the biggest cause of death in South Tyneside and many of those that die from this cruel disease have smoked. We are committed to tackling smoking and that’s why the work of the commission is so important.”
The commission concentrated on the work around smoking bans and legislation as well as looking at plain packaging and advertising, and the high numbers of women who smoke during pregnancy.
The commission also investigated how the council is currently tackling the prevalence of smoking and recommended that work is undertaken to help prevent youngsters from starting to light up.
Members of the cabinet will be meeting on Wednesday, April 20 at 4pm in Jarrow Town Hall.