MORE than 400,000 people in England have given up smoking as a result of the public ban, according to a study. The Department of Health said 234,060 people have stopped smoking with the help of the NHS Quit Smoking Service since the ban was introduced on July 1, 2007, up 22 per cent on the previous 12 months. A separate report, the Smoking Toolkit Study has examined the effect of anti-smoking legislation. It suggests the ban could prevent 40,000 people dying over the next ten years. In the nine months before the ban, there was a 1.6 per cent fall in the level of smoking across England. But in the nine months after the ban, the fall was 5.5 per cent. A survey of more than 3,000 people by the health charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) found 63 per cent strongly support the ban on smoking in public places. More than eight in ten (85 per cent) adults also wanted retailers convicted of selling tobacco illegally to children to be banned from selling them in the future. A total of 59 per cent supported banning tobacco being on display in shops while 65 per cent wanted sale from vending machines to be banned. Deborah Arnott, director of Ash, said: "The smokefree legislation has been a fantastic success and is hugely popular. "But what it also shows is a hunger for more action: the smokefree law is not an end in itself but has proven to be a catalyst for further controls on tobacco. "There is still a lot more that needs to be done. In particular the Government should focus on measures to shield children from tobacco industry marketing while parents and carers can do much more to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke in the home and car."