More than 1.6 million smokers quit the habit when the ban on smoking in public places was introduced last year, says a survey of 1,022 British adults by Benenden Healthcare, the mutual healthcare provider.
Since July 2007 14% of smokers have quit. London and the South East saw the largest proportion of smokers quitting, at 21% and 19% respectively.
Good intentions were not always fulfilled. 21% of smokers said they promised to give up when the ban came into force, but just 35% of those managed to stick to their plan.
Younger smokers were found to be much better at giving up than older ones. Almost 25% of 16-24 year old smokers and 21% of 25-34 year olds managed to give up, compared to just 4% of 45-54 year olds and 7% of 55-64 year olds.
Jill Gardiner of Benenden Healthcare says: "The rationale behind the smoking ban was that it would help drastically cut levels of smoking and save thousands of lives. With one in seven smokers giving up and many more cutting down; it seems from our research that this process is beginning and that it is going to be a real benefit to public health."