New figures show that 13,000 children in the North East were admitted to hospital with smoking related problems last year.
The news comes as the Government launches its latest anti-smoking campaign warning people of the dangers of passive smoking.
TV and online adverts in England will outline the risk to children of people lighting up in cars and homes.
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A week-long puppet festival event will take place in Newcastle after funding is secured.
A man has been jailed at Teesside Crown Court for engaging in sexual activity with a child, making an indecent image and child abduction.
An independent report into flooding in December 2015 has criticised aspects of the preparations and response, and made many recommendations.