An NHS "quit smoking" service recorded a success rate of 50% in the three-month run-up to the ban on smoking in public places in England, it has been revealed.
Between April and June, 152,871 people in England set a quit date with their local NHS Stop Smoking Service, with 76,914 successfully quitting at four weeks, according to Department of Health (DH) statistics.
The figures represent a 12% increase in the number of quitters compared with the same period last year.
During the same period, the NHS Smoking Helpline took 52,563 calls, up 6% on 2006.
An interactive service for people who want to quit at home had 3,080 sign-ups, a year-on-year increase of 36%.
The figures have been released as the NHS Smokefree campaign launches a new DVD to help smokers choose which of the free services offered by the NHS will give them the best chance of beating their habit.
The ban on smoking in public places came into effect in England on 1 July, spelling an end to drinkers having a cigarette with their pint in pubs, bars and clubs.
England was the final part of the UK to introduce a ban, after Wales and Northern Ireland in April and Scotland last March.
The Republic of Ireland made the move three years ago.