Second-hand smoke exposure for workers in pubs, bars and restaurants has fallen by 95 per cent since the smoking ban. New research has also found that non-smoking hospitality workers had four times less cotinine - a by-product of nicotine and indicator of tobacco smoke exposure - in their saliva in August than they had in June.
The research, by the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre in Warwick, funded by Cancer Research UK, assessed the air quality in almost 40 venues across the country.
The survey calculated that on average employees' exposure was the equivalent to smoking 190 cigarettes a year before the legislation. This has dropped to the equivalent of around 44 cigarettes per year after the ban.
Hilary Wareing, co-director of the Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre, said: "The improvements in air quality and reduction in cotinine levels were even better than we could have imagined. This study proves beyond doubt that smokefree workplaces are helping to improve the health of the nation's hospitality workers."