Spanish lollipop maker Chupa Chups expects domestic sales to soar this year after the government approved a smoking ban on 1 January.

“Our sales increased 50% in the first 15 days of the year and we didn’t do anything [in terms of promotions] different from last year,” Chupa Chups’ marketing director Oscar Ferrer told just-food.

He added that Chupa Chups will finish January with sales of 5m pops, up 2m from the same 2005 period. The hike will generate EUR1.1m in sales.

According to Chupa Chups, anxious smokers keen to quit crave lollipops’ on-stick holding and sucking qualities (which mirror cigarette smoking), and “pleasurable” glucose ingestion.

Chupa Chups is rushing to install vending machines in typical smoker hangouts such as restaurants, cafes and bars. It has so far placed 1,000 of the contraptions across Spain and plans to place many more, Ferrer added.

Smoking is reportedly Spain’s number one killer with the country ranking second in Europe for per-capita consumption.Smoking has been banned in many public places and offices and is only allowed in designated areas inside bars and restaurants.