Brits are smoking one billion fewer cigarettes than last year, showing that the ban in pubs and clubs and continued health warnings have forced more smokers to stub out.

Although the value of retail sales increased 4.4% to £9.75bn in the year to October, the volume decreased 2%, equating to 981 million fewer cigarettes overall. It does still mean, however, that a breathtaking 48 billion individual sticks, sold through retail, were smoked this year.

Lambert & Butler King Size is the nation's favourite brand, selling an extra 70 million sticks and adding £71.8m to give it a value of £1.38bn - the biggest-single brand in the entire grocery industry. And nine of the UK's Top 20 grocery products are cigarettes, according to the Top Products Survey 2007.