Finding true love on a dating app may not be plain sailing, but if you are a smoker it is a lot tougher to find a partner online than you may think, researchers have found
Smoking is not only considered to be unattractive by non-smokers, they also said they would be reluctant to date a smoker because they think of them as unhealthy, unfashionable and even unintelligent.
Women are less likely than men to “like” a smoker on an app though overall both sexes agreed it is a big turn off in the digital dating world. Given that just 14.7 percent of the UK’s adult population now smoke - some 7.2 million people - smokers are in the minority and are running the risk of damaging not only their health but also their chances in the dating game.
The findings by vaping website Vapoucore in a 2019 survey of 1,264 non-smoking male and female single Brits who use dating apps are backed up by a survey of 150,000 online daters by dating site eharmony and Oxford University.
The Vapoucore survey found 40 percent of men and women felt smoking was a major factor in deciding who they dated.
An overwhelming 66 percent of women said they found smoking an unattractive trait on dating apps and would be unlikely to date that person - even if he or she had other attractive qualities.
Despite being a little more tolerant of smokers - 53 percent of men said the same - dramatically reducing the number of likes and dates smokers would get.
An overwhelming 81 percent of women and 76 percent of men said they think someone who smokes could be unhealthy and would not want to date them as a result.
Some 76 percent of women and 70 percent of men said their main concern was the potential impact cigarettes may have on their own long-term health.
Their main concern was inhaling secondhand smoke with 71 percent of women and 64 percent of men believing a smoking partner would turn them into passive smokers.
If you want to find love, embrace the joys of a smoke-free existence
Dating expert Rachel Lloyd from eharmony said the perception of smoking among singles looking for love had changed dramatically in the past ten years.
She said: “Today’s singles are far more polarised about whether they will tolerate smoking than in previous times. “Whereas ten years ago, smoking wasn’t such a dealbreaker, 40 percent of singles now consider it a ‘very important’ issue.
“Most singles tick the box for ‘non smoker’ and they typically favour a partner who doesn’t smoke.
“This is hardly surprising when you consider that smoking has now become almost taboo, and is firmly banned in most public spaces.
“Twenty years ago, the reverse was true.
“Everyone knew smoking was bad for people’s health, but from a cultural point of view it was still seen as a slightly deviant source of sophistication.
“Nowadays, to smoke is to lower the odds of finding love.
“Single parents looking for relationships are often concerned about having a smoker in their lives, particularly now we know about the dangers of passive smoking and the detrimental effect it can have on children’s health.
“My advice would be if you want to find love, embrace the joys of a smoke-free existence.”
Researchers from Vapoucore also found smoking appears to be developing a reputation for simply being out of date and not trendy.
Some 61 percent of women said they regarded the habit as unfashionable and 48 percent of men said the same.
Overall smokers are 61 percent more likely to be unlucky in love and be rejected.
In a finding which may link to the toll cigarettes can take on physical and mental health, a further 74 percent of women and 65 percent of men said they thought smoking was unintelligent.
They simply said smoking makes smokers look “dumb” because of the risk smokers take with their health and the future happiness of loved one should they fall ill.
And it was also thought smokers may be smoking because they are stressed out - another unattractive trait.
Some 48 percent of women thought a person who smokes as likely to be stressed with 34 percent of men agreeing.
The bad news for men is that women found all aspects of smoking more unattractive than men.
The only exception was oral hygiene - yellow teeth and bad breath - where 59 percent of men compared to 50 percent of women said it made smokers unattractive.
Charles Bloom from Vapoucore said: “Smoking certainly has many unfavourable connotations, none more so than when trying to find love.
“With dating moving into a new age where people seek a potential partner online before meeting them in person, first impressions seem to count for more than ever before.
“This research is certainly intriguing as it considers how non-smokers perceive smokers on dating apps.
“It seems women are more likely to be judgemental and critical of smokers on dating apps than men.”