Imagine your perfect significant other. What do they look like? What qualities do you like about them? What are they passionate about?
Now, imagine who that person wouldn't be. What characteristics would immediately shoot up a red flag and have you hightailing it in the other direction?
In many relationships, a person's reaction to a deal breaker can be just as strong as the attractive qualities we feel for another person. For me, that deal breaker is smoking. According to the Centre for Disease control 19% of all Americans smoke.
Whether you vape or have never smoked a cigarette in your life, I think we can all agree that smoking cigarettes is a bit of a turn off to us. You might be sitting in a bar with your friends and notice someone who catches your eye. However, a second later, you notice that they are smoking and are immediately disappointed at the future prospect ruined by something as simple as a cigarette.
1. Smoking makes you smell bad.
Smoking causes halitosis by leaving smoke particles in the throat and lungs. The smell can linger in the lungs for hours, which leads to gross breath. Smoking stains your teeth, causes facial wrinkles, and depletes energy.
2. Smoking increases your risk for lung cancer.
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. In the United States, cigarette smoking is linked to about 80% to 90% of lung cancers. People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to get lung cancer. The more years a person smokes and the more cigarettes smoked each day, the more risk goes up.
3. Smoking impacts any future children or pets you might have with that person.
Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In addition, smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually. Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
4. Smoking makes kissing a gross misadventure.
Kissing someone who smokes is like kissing an ashtray. Gross.
5. Smoking must be accommodated at all times.
There are 1.1 billion smokers in the world today, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). If the trend continues, that number is expected to increase to 1.6 billion by the year 2025.
6. I am virtually guaranteed to outlive them.
On average, smoking will cut 13 years from your life expectancy. If you have HIV, that number will increase to 16 years.
7. Smoking shows a disrespect for your health and the health of others.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., causing over 438,000 deaths per year. Of the six million smoking-related death reported around the world each year, 890,000 (or roughly 15 percent) are the result of secondhand smoke. Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.
8. You have NO IDEA what is in a cigarette.
What's ACTUALLY in a cigarette?
There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, they create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are poisonous.
Here are a few ingredients that are found in most cigarettes, and their common uses:
- Acetone – found in nail polish remover
- Acetic Acid – an ingredient in hair dye
- Ammonia – a common household cleaner
- Arsenic – used in rat poison
- Benzene – found in rubber cement
- Butane – used in lighter fluid
- Cadmium – active component in battery acid
- Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
- Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
- Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
- Lead – used in batteries
- Naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs
- Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
- Nicotine – used as an insecticide
- Tar – material for paving roads
- Toluene - used to manufacture paint
9. The smell is contagious.
Cigarette smoke gets absorbed into EVERYTHING. Not only does the smell permeate throughout their home and sticks to their clothing, it will also contaminate everything that you own as well.
10. You are more likely to pick up smoking if your S.O. smokes.
If you live with someone who smokes, you're more likely to start. Worse still, if you used to smoke and successfully quit, having an S.O. who smokes will make you much more likely to relapse. We tend to pick up the habits of those around us, after all.
Smoking is my deal breaker. There are more cons than pros. No matter who the person is, I refuse to date someone who smokes, even if it is Chris Hemsworth, the 2014 Sexiest Man Alive.