The conclusions of a Cancer Research study generated 280 mentions in news items in June as the England-wide ban was about to be implemented.
While many in the hospitality trade reportedly feared that the smoking ban would hurt business, the study suggested that one in five families would go out more to pubs and restaurants.
Cancer Research director of tobacco control Jean King said: ‘Smokefree legislation is being brought in to protect the workers and the public… and it also looks like it will be some good news for both family outings and the hospitality trade.’
The Red Cross moved up from fourth to second in this month’s table, after it condemned the Burmese government for human rights violations.
The charity attacked the government for the continued suffering of civilians as more people died following clashes with ethnic rebels.
The organisation usually maintains a policy of neutrality towards governments in the states in which it works. But Red Cross president Jacob Kellenberger said the condemnation had been made because the regime had ignored repeated requests to cease the violence.
The RSPCA slipped down a place to third, but still gained considerable media coverage after backing a proposal to extend animal protection laws beyond their current boundaries. The Sun had claimed that the new laws would help to provide protection to animals such as spiders, lobsters and squid.
The Royal British Legion also made a rare appearance in the top five, winning publicity off the back of the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict.
The media lapped up the news that a podium specially made for the Legion was stolen from Kent. The BBC reported that the podium was being made for a memorial service in Sheerness and its theft was described by one chief inspector as ‘extremely disrespectful’.