Over a third of single smokers hide habit from potential partners

Over a third of single smokers hide habit from potential partners

More than a third of singletons admit they’re “secret smokers” – and hide it from potential partners. Research, into 500 single adults who smoke, found one in four don’t declare they smoke on a first date, and 15 percent don’t specify on their dating profiles – with the same percentage “ashamed” of their habit.

Almost half (48 percent) will wait until after a date is over to have a cigarette, while 20 percent sneakily go for one mid-way through.

However, 30 percent will spark up a cigarette while actually on a date, the research found.

On average, smokers will keep their habit a secret for three months, with 73 percent believing their date would look down on them if they knew the truth.

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 wearing extra perfume (33 percent), using lots of air freshener in the home (25 percent), and scented candles (24 percent), to try and hide their habit.

And others have minty mouth spray to hand at all times (19 percent), blame other people for the smell (16 percent), and have a shower at work before a date (15 percent).

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

And of the 53 percent who have been caught in the act by a date, 54 percent said their potential partners ended things there and then as a result.

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

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

A fifth have been turned down previously because they smoke, while 24 percent believe they are only single because of their habit.

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.”

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