Smoking 'is big dating turn-off'

If you want to get ahead in the dating game then it's time to stub out those ciggies, according to a Department of Health report.

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The government department has commissioned research to co-incide with Valentine's Day - and which revealed that three-quarters of 18-24-year-olds would refuse to kiss somebody who had just been smoking.

The study also found that half of the 1,700 people surveyed would be reluctant to get into a relationship with a smoker.

There are eight million smokers in the UK and statistics suggest that it is likely to kill half of them if they do not quit the habit.

Dating websites typically see 70 to 80 per cent of members specifying that they would like a non-smoking partner.

Sarah Beeny, the presenter of TV's Property Ladder and the founder of dating website, said: "Whilst obviously people aren't permanently a smoker in many cases and some people can see past this - it does clearly influence a person's decision to date you.

"It's particularly obvious that non-smokers find it harder to live with a smoker, so by giving up you not only increase your dating market, but protect the years you have together when you do settle down."

But Simon Clark, the director of smokers' rights group Forest, said the study was a waste of public money and unfair to the poor persecuted puffers.

He said: "To then use it to denigrate a substantial minority of the population with cheap personal jibes says more about the Department of Health than it does about smokers and their attractiveness to other people."

Free Department of health Quit Kits are now available from local pharmacies. To find your nearest Quit Kit pharmacy stockist text SEARCH and your postcode to 88088 or search online.

What do you reckon? Would you snog a smoker? Comment below...