One-fifth of Irish smokers are lighting up less at home since the smoking ban was introduced in 2004, survey results suggest.

People taking part in the poll were asked: 'Has the smoking ban in public places affected the rules about smoking in the home?'
A total of 22% said they had reduced the amount they smoked at home since the legislation was brought in.

6% reported smoking more at home after the ban, and 71% said their behaviour had not changed.

Professor Gerard Hastings, Director of Cancer Research UK's Centre for Tobacco Control at the University of Stirling and co-author of the study, said: 'This finding echoes the experiences of other countries and places that have gone smokefree. But it also just makes common-sense.'

More than 500 smokers from the Republic took part in the telephone survey between February and March last year. A further 1,335 smokers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland also participated in the research.

The study also found that smokers' alcohol consumption in Irish pubs after the introduction of the smoking ban was no greater than in Britain.

Smoking in public and work places will be banned in England from 1 July.

Maura Gillespie, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the British Heart Foundation said: 'We hope that smokers respond similarly to the forthcoming ban in England, for the good of their health, and the health of their families.'