Shocking smoking figures revealed
One in three deaths in Birmingham and the Black Country are caused by smoking, a new report has revealed.
But fewer people are giving up the habit in the region than in other parts of the country.
The shocking new figures were published today by the NHS as Ministers were putting the finishing touches on proposals to ban smoking in public places in England.
The Government's Public Health White Paper, to be published on Tuesday, is expected to include proposals for a ban.
However, pubs, clubs and restaurants will be able to apply for a licence exempting them from the restriction if they can prove they have adequate ventilation.
Ireland has already imposed a total ban on smoking in public places, while the Scottish Executive announced this week that it planned legislation to outlaw smoking in enclosed public places.
Today's report is the most detailed ever published on the effects of smoking in England.
It was produced by the Health Development Agency, the NHS agency responsible for public health.
In Birmingham and the Black Country, 32 per cent of deaths were caused by smoking. The figures refer to all adults over the age of 35.
The most common cause of death due to smoking is lung cancer.
Other fatal diseases caused by smoking include chronic obstructive lung disease and ischaemic heart disease, the report said.