UK smokers standing outside pubs are sending more text messages as the result of the UK's new smoking ban, mobile operator Orange has claimed.

Smokers loitering outside pubs or puffing away in beer gardens have been using their time-outs to text, according to Orange. Texts sent under these circumstances have accounted for an increase of 7.5 million texts sent across the Orange network during the first two weeks in July.

Orange figures show 512 million texts were sent in the last two weeks of June, rising to 519.5 million in the first two weeks after the smoking ban came into effect on July 1st .

Orange has coined the phrase "smexting" to describe the texting-outside-the-pub-when-smoking "phenomenon". The "dramatic surge" of 7.5 million texts reported by Orange equates to a 1.5 per cent rise in texting activity.

Despite receiving a smoking ban boost in text revenues, Orange is admirably offering tips on its website on how to quit the tobacco habit.