London: Quitting smoking may boost your chances of dating success this Valentine’s Day, suggests a poll that shows cigarettes is one of the biggest turn-offs in the love game. The survey found that three-quarters of people aged 18 to 24 said they would not kiss someone who had just smoked.

And half the 1,700 people surveyed for the Department of Health (DoH) said they would think twice about starting a serious relationship with a smoker.

SmokingSo, people who want to stay one step ahead of the game this Valentine’s Day should put an end to their habit and quit today, says the Department of Health.

Anecdotal reports from dating agencies appear to back this up, it says. The relationship website eHarmony.co.uk says 81percent of its members state they would not partner with a heavy smoker.

At Match.com 72 percent of male members and 73 percent of female members said they wanted a non-smoking partner and at mysinglefriend.com over 67 percent of respondents said smoking would put them off dating someone.

“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,” the BBC quoted Sarah Beeny, host of Channel 4’s Property Ladder and founder of mysinglefriend.com, as saying.

“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,” she stated.

But Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said the DoH research was a waste of taxpayers’ money, adding: “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.”

(Agencies)