Last summer’s smoking ban has helped 400,000 people to quit smoking, according to official figures.

The Smoking Toolkit study found that in the nine months before the ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces there was a 1.6% fall in smoking across England and a 5.5% fall in the nine months after.

“There figures show the largest fall in the number of smokers on record,” Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London told the Independent.

“The effect has been as large in all social groups - poor as well as rich. I never expected such a dramatic impact.”