An affluent village on the border of Birmingham has been named the electoral ward with one of the lowest number of smokers in the country.

Little Aston's low smoking rate has been highlighted by the anti-smoking pressure group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) in an online map showing the distribution of smokers across England.

The map, which has been part-funded by Cancer Research UK and produced by cartographers Lovell Johns, identified a link between smoking and poverty through the analysis of data for 8,000 wards.

Based on estimated smoking rates and a government index measuring deprivation, the maps have compared the proportion of smokers to the level of economic and social deprivation in each area.

The research claims that smokers make up nine per cent of the population of Little Aston, an electoral ward in Lichfield. This figure represents 16 per cent less than the national average of 25 per cent.

This rate was considerably lower than that of Kingstanding in Birmingham, where an estimated 38 per cent of residents smoke.

Nationally, the districts with the highest percentage of smokers are Bransholme East in Hull and Windmill Hill in Halton, Cheshire, where 54 per cent of the population are smokers.

The maps have also used data from the Index of Multiple Deprivation, which was produced in 2004 by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The index looked at the level of deprivation in each area by measuring factors including income, employment, health problems, education and crime rates.

Among those in the most deprived groups across the country, including lone parents in receipt of state benefits, three out of four families are estimated to contain at least one smoker.

In addition, ASH researchers identified that smokers in the group were likely to spend a seventh of their disposable income on cigarettes.

The map also looked at statistics for the number of male and female smokers in each ward.

Aston has been named the Birmingham ward with the largest number of male and female smokers with 40 per cent of men and 38 per cent of women smoking.

In Walsall, Blakenall has been identified as the ward with both the largest population of smokers with 45 per cent of men and women smoking.

The Walsall ward with the least smokers was identified as Streetly, with a total of 17 per cent. ..SUPL: