SMOKERS are not only risking their health, they are also cutting their chances of finding a love match, says a new survey.
Half of all non-smokers said they would not date a smoker while another quarter said they might put up with a smoker - but only if the other person was good looking.
Saga Private Medical Insurance questioned 1,193 people, ahead of No Smoking Day tomorrow.
If, as in Ireland, a ban on smoking in public places was introduced, a third of smokers said they would cut back.
This rose to half among 25 to 34-year-olds.
A further eighth would kick the habit altogether, with women twice as likely to do so than men, the survey found.
A quarter of smokers said a ban would have no effect on them.
Just over half said they would avoid pubs and bars and a quarter of these would entertain more at home.
Michael Cutbill, Saga's marketing director, said: "Smoking was once seen as acceptable, but now struggles to be tolerated.
"Everyone has their own views, but our research reveals smokers put more than just their health at stake when they light up.
"They also risk social exclusion and dramatically reduce their chances of finding a prospective partner."
There are 12m adult smokers in the UK, and every year 106,000 of them die of smoking related diseases, says the anti-smoking group Ash.
Saga researchers found that 39% of people start smoking before they turn 15 and a further 46% begin between the ages of 16 and 19.
The most popular reasons given for taking up smoking was to relax and help ease stress, according to 58% and 61% of smokers respectively.
Easing stress was named as a reason for 68% of women and 48% of men.
Women are more likely to smoke when they're hungry - 25%, as against 12% of men - and when they are drinking, 60% compared with 45%.
Among women, 28% managed to kick the habit in their late 20s, making it the most likely time to quit.
Men are more likely to quit between the ages of 36 and 45 (21%).
Popular reasons for quitting include better health (71%), saving money (44%), fresher breath and clothes (41%), starting a family (22%) and to avoid being anti-social (13%).
ANTI-SMOKING campaigners are slowly winning their battle, a report claimed today.
Fewer than one in ten of the UK's population will smoke in 50 years time, it says.
At present around a quarter of the adult population are smokers.
But numbers have been steadily dropping since a peak in the 1950s and 60s.
The report by the Future Foundation think-tank predicted that this could drop to just 8% by 2050.
It predicts that further measures, such as Government legislation to make tobacco illegal or a vaccine treatment to combat nicotine addiction, while unlikely, could lead to just 1% of the UK population being smokers.
The report - Up In Smoke: Quitting Smoking In The 21st Century - comes ahead of tomorrow's No Smoking Day.
Figures revealed at the weekend showed that smoking has killed 6.3m people in the UK in the last 50 years - almost the number currently living in London.
Sir Richard Peto, professor of medical statistics at Oxford University, found that between 1950 and 2000, 42% of deaths in men aged 35 to 69 in the UK were caused by smoking.
This peaked in the 1960s when tobacco caused half of all deaths in middle-aged men.