The northern branch of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has urged the Government to introduce a blanket smoking ban in England.
It said that a partial ban would leave workers in about 30,000 wet-led pubs and private clubs unprotected.
A spokesman said: "The absence of a full ban will also have a disproportionate impact on the North-east, which has more of these pubs and clubs than other parts of the country."
The Northern TUC does not accept that there is any justification for treating pub and club workers differently from other workers. If we are to protect all workers from all forms of industrial illness, then ending smoking in all workplaces has to be introduced."
The North-east currently tops the UK table for poor health and 30% of the population smokes compared with the 27% national average.
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