A smoking ban introduced a decade ago in a bid to protect people from second-hand smoke has been hailed a success by campaigners.
Next month marks 10 years since people were stopped from smoking in enclosed public places including pubs, restaurants, shops, and workplaces.
There is no such thing as social smoking anymore.Lorna Hardy
Since then, research has revealed the number of people smoking has fallen in the North East to 17.2 per cent - the lowest rate on record.
Lorna Hardy, 35, from South Shields, quit her 20-a-day habit in 2011.
She said: “I think the smoke-free law that came in 10 years ago has had a profound effect on smoking.
“A lot more people are quitting and there is no such thing as social smoking any more.
“Even smoking areas outside are getting smaller because there are fewer people using them.”
Now, anti-smoking group Fresh has launched its Secondhand Smoke is Poison campaign – aimed at encouraging people who still smoke around children in the home to take it outside, or to quit.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “Smokefree law was something that was not only badly needed but also wanted by the majority of people.
“The law was always about reducing high levels of exposure to smoke in workplaces and enclosed public spaces.
“It also raised awareness of the harm of smoking, and made people think about tobacco smoke in a different way.”