Sunderland has the fifth highest death rate due to smoking of 24 major towns and cites across England, according to new figures.
NHS Digital's latest research ‘Statistics on Smoking: England (2017), covers the period 2013-15 and rtelates to deaths among people aged over 35.
Sunderland had 423 deaths attributable to smoking per 100,000 people.
The new figures show there were an estimated 79,100 deaths caused by smoking nationwide in the period covered, of which around 54 per cent were cancer-caused (lung, cervical, bladder cancer and more).
Smoking can cause a number of health problems in the same patient and the research shows respiratory illness was involved in 47 per cent of deaths and and circulatory illness was a factor in 13 per cent.
The research shows that Manchester had the highest number of deaths attributed to smoking out of all the major towns and cities selected for the research, at 509 per 100,000 head of population.
Manchester was closely followed by Hull, which had 485 deaths per 100,000 in relation to smoking. Blackpool came in third, with 460 deaths per 100,000.
Middlesbrough and Newcastle, with rates of 422 and 304 deaths per 100,000 respectively, were also in the top ten.
Bournemouth had the lowest number of deaths attributed to smoking at 250 per 100,000 of their population; half that of Manchester.
Just above Bournemouth was London, with 260 deaths attributed to smoking per 100,000 in regards to its large population.
Charles Bloom, Managing Director of website Vapourlites.com said: "Smoking for many years has been documented as one of the most preventable causes of various deadly diseases and illnesses.
"Despite this, many unfortunately become fixated to the addictive nature of smoking. Changing this behaviour can be difficult but with more safer alternatives to smoking than ever before and ground-breaking studies/research thoroughly exhibiting the destructive nature of long-term smoking on mental as well as physical health, the glowing hope is that many more lives in the future will be saved."