Sex, love, and cigarettes

A friend recently complained about how hard it was to find a good man as she stood on the sidewalk enjoying her cigarette break from work.

I didn’t say anything out loud, but my inner voice said, “Maybe you should stop smoking.”  no_smoking

As a non-smoker, I find smoking to be an absolute turn-off.  I kissed a girl once (in High School) who smoked.  Once.  And then we stopped, and she got upset when I told her why.  “You taste like an ash tray.”

I’ll admit that for many hormone-induced high school boys, nothing would stop them from kissing a willing girl.  But hopefully, you’re trying to attract men who are a bit less desperate.

Only 18% of the American population smokes, which is the lowest level ever.  So if you’re looking for a partner, you may be excluding as much as 82% of the available suitors.

To make matters worse, smoking in America is becoming sharply divided by class:

  • 24.7% of adults with 12 or less years of education (no diploma)
  • 41.9% of adults with a GED diploma
  • 23.1% of adults with a high school diploma
  •   9.1% of adults with an undergraduate college degree
  •   5.9% of adults with a postgraduate college degree

Ironically, the people who can least afford cigarettes are the ones who smoke.  The average person spends $3000 year on the habit.  That doesn’t include side costs of smoking, such as dental and medical bills.  If you’re trying to attract educated people who statistically have  a much higher income, smoking works against you.

Now, mind you, my friend may agree completely with everything I’ve said here.  She may have been trying to quit smoking for years.  Most smokers do want to quit, after all.  They know perfectly well how much it is costing them in many ways.  Smokers these days deserve our help and not our criticism.