More than a third of single Brits admit they're 'secret smokers' – hiding it from potential partners | The Sun

More than a third of singletons admit they're 'secret smokers' – hiding it from potential partners.  

Research of 500 single adults who smoke found one in four don’t declare they smoke on a first date and 15 per cent don’t specify on their dating profiles – with the same percentage ‘ashamed’ of their habit.

And 48 per cent will wait until after a date is over to have a cigarette, while 20 per cent sneakily go for one mid-way through.

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

A spokesperson 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."

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The study also found secret smokers resort to wearing extra perfume (33 per cent), using lots of air freshener in the home (25 per cent) and scented candles (24 per cent) to try and hide their habit.

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

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

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

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It also emerged 25 per cent have tried to quit smoking an average of four times, with 69 per cent admitting they can understand why people wouldn’t want to date a smoker.

Despite being a smoker themselves, 20 per cent prefer to go out with someone who doesn’t smoke.

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

Of those who took part in the study, via OnePoll, 30 per cent will spark up a cigarette while actually on a date.

PML's spokesperson added: “Rather than keeping your smoking to yourself and starting a relationship by hiding something, there are other options 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. Worn extra perfume

2. Used a lot of air freshener in your house

3. Used scented candles at home

4. Started keeping gum/mints on you at all times

5. Gone for more walks

6. Kept a minty mouth spray in your pocket at all times

7. Gone to the toilet a lot to secretly smoke

8. Told 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. Said your clothes smell of smoke because someone else was smoking

11. Had a shower at work before your date

12. Kept a toothbrush and toothpaste on you at all times

13. Sprayed your head with air freshener so the smell doesn’t linger in your hair

14. Washed your clothes before seeing that person

15. Said you were just ‘popping out’ to do something important

16. Took all the photos off social media where you’re holding a cigarette

17. Hidden photos in the house if you are holding a cigarette in them

18. Changed bedsheets before potentially bringing someone home

19. Pretended to be taking the bins out

20. Kept fresh clothes at work in case you have a date later

5 ways to give up smoking

Here are four ways that will set you on the right path to stub out cigarettes for good.

Think of the money: Calculate how much you spend on smoking each day, then work out what you spend a month and then what you spend on smoking in a year.

Think about what else you could spend that money on, a trip away or you could even put it towards your savings goals.

A pack of 20 cigarettes costs around £14 in the UK.

Try a replacement: The NHS says one way to help stop smoking is to introduce a nicotine replacement.

Guidance from the NHS states:"Give yourself a better chance of success by using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This is available on prescription from your GP, from your local stop smoking service or from a pharmacist. 

"You could also consider trying e-cigarettes. While they're not risk-free, they are much safer than cigarettes and can help people stop smoking."

Get help: The key thing to remember here is that you don't have to go it alone when it comes to stubbing out cigarettes.

You can always ask your GP or pharmacist to help and they will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.

Join a support group: The NHS says that speaking to others in the same position as you can help you quit.

The NHS says your're four times more likely to quit smoking if you have the help of your local support group.

To find your nearest group, click here.

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