That ban was on smoking. According to the World Health Organisation, smoking is directly linked to 6 million deaths every year worldwide leading to diseases like cancer, chest infections, strokes and heart attacks. The new analysis in Scottish Journal of Political Economy was led by Dr. Eugenio Zucchelli of Lancaster University and used self-reported assessments of psychological well-being before and after the introduction of the bans in the UK. They parsed the results for smokers, occasional smokers and non smokers, single or in a couple.
Most in approval were married women with dependent children but there was no comparable increase for married men with children. There were also increases in happiness among married men who quit smoking after the ban and, most predictably, men and women who had never smoked, because it could only have positive impact on them.
Zucchelli claims the difference between married men and women could be due to innate differences in genders. “Individuals with altruistic preferences towards their children would benefit more from the introduction of public smoking bans than non-altruistic parents, mainly for the expected reduction of their children’s exposure to second hand smoke, at least in public places.”
So if married dads were not happier about not being able to smoke in the pub, it's because they hate their kids.