One in four single Brits who smoke believe the habit is why they are single

One in five single Brits have been turned down for a date because they smoke – with over a third choosing to keep their habit secret from a potential partner, research has found.

Almost a quarter (24%) of singletons who smoke believe it is the only reason they are luckless in love, according to a poll of 500 adults who struggle to kick the habit.

Those who keep it a secret from their love interest will typically do so for three months – with a third wearing extra perfume to hide the smell, while 19% keep minty mouth spray to hand at all times.

Almost three-quarters (73%) worry about being judged by their date if they were to admit the truth, with 15% “ashamed” of their smoking habit.

And possibly for good reason – as over half (53%) have been caught in the act by a date, with 54% of those saying the courtship ended there and then as a result.

But three in ten will spark up a cigarette whilst on a date, with 20% sneaking off mid-way through to have a puff – although 48% will wait until the date is over.

A spokesman for Philip Morris Limited (PML), which commissioned the study for UnSmoke UK, said: “If you’re a non-smoker, then it can be quite a barrier meeting someone on a date who smokes.

“It’s well known that smoking is not as widespread or socially acceptable as it used to be – but still, it’s interesting to see so many smokers are now keeping it a secret.”

The study, via OnePoll, also found secret smokers resort to using lots of air freshener (25%) and scented candles (24%) in their home, to try and hide their habit – as well as blaming other people for the smell (16%), and having a shower at work before a date (15%).

But 36% believe smoking hinders them when it comes to finding a relationship.

As a result, one in four do not admit to being a smoker on a first date, while 15% don't specify it on their dating profiles.

It also emerged one in four have tried to quit smoking an average of four times, with 69% admitting they can understand why people wouldn’t want to date a smoker.

And despite being a smoker themselves, 20% prefer to go out with someone who doesn’t smoke.

PML's spokesman added: “Rather than keeping your smoking to yourself and starting a relationship by hiding something, there are other options which could be better and also save you money.

“Quitting is always the best option – but for those who don’t quit, switching to smoke-free alternatives can be a better choice for smokers.”


  1. Wearing extra perfume
  2. Using a lot of air freshener in your home
  3. Using scented candles at home
  4. Keeping gum/mints on you at all times
  5. Going for more walks
  6. Keeping a minty mouth spray in your pocket at all times
  7. Going to the toilet a lot to secretly smoke
  8. Telling your smoking friends/other friends to help you keep it a secret
  9. Not seeing certain friends who smoke in case they offer you one in front of your date
  10. Claiming your clothes smell of smoke because someone else was smoking
  11. Having a shower at work before your date
  12. Keeping a toothbrush and toothpaste on you at all times
  13. Spraying your head with air freshener so the smell doesn't linger in your hair
  14. Washing your clothes before seeing your date
  15. Saying you were just “popping out” to do something important
  16. Taking all photos off social media where you're holding a cigarette
  17. Hiding photos in the house if you are holding a cigarette in them
  18. Changing bedsheets before potentially bringing someone home
  19. Pretending to be taking the bins out
  20. Keeping fresh clothes at work in case you have a date later

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