The majority of the English population continues to support the smoking ban because it has led to a better atmosphere, cleaner air and clothes that don't smell, an official study has revealed.
A three month report into the impact of the ban by the Department of Health, based on a survey of 1,700 adults, showed that three-quarters of the public support the law. The number of smokers supporting the law stands at 47%.
When asked what benefits they had seen from the ban, respondents cited clothes and hair not smelling of smoke after visiting a pub or club, a more pleasant atmosphere in pubs, clubs and restaurants as well as cleaner air.
A separate study of 455 businesses into the impact of the ban revealed that nine in 10 felt implementation had "gone well", with 78% believing the law was "a good idea".
Only 2% of 275,000 businesses inspected under smoking ban legislation have not complied with the law since its implementation on 1 July.
Public health minister Dawn Primarolo, said: "I'm especially proud to hear that nine out of 10 businesses say that implementation went well and that the majority of people, smokers included, are supportive of the new legislation.
"The evidence is clear, second-hand smoke is a killer and removing it from enclosed public and work environments marks the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation."
By Christopher Walton