Though smoking has never been good for you, it's always been celebrated as a sign of sexiness and appeal. Our favorite retro figures were always photographed with a smoke in hand at all times. Even our favorite protagonist, Don Draper, doesn't do much of anything unless there's a butt comfortably lit between his lips. But the cancer-inducing habit hasn't been sensationalized by men alone – characters in the ad-inspired series like Joan and Betty make smoking look just as sexy as Don does, if not sexier.
For the modern generation, it isn't just about cigarettes. E-cigarettes have taken a trendy hold on the marketplace, advertised as the "healthier" alternative to buying pack after pack. And while you can now light up inside at any time and at any place, how do guys feel about your nasty little habit? Are they into it — or over it?
"It's a dealbreaker, for sure."
"My mom had lung cancer twice when I was growing up," says Brian, 28, "so when I meet a girl and then later on she excuses herself for a cigarette, I just can't look past it. I'm sure she has tons of other great qualities, but for me, I can't date someone who's willingly giving themselves cancer — especially after seeing what my mom went through twice."
Though Jon, 25, has never lost anyone to cancer from cigarettes, he just says he finds the habit really unattractive. "I just don't see the appeal. We know, now better than ever before, that smoking will kill you. If not today, then at some point. Plus, it's really gross kissing a girl that smells like stale cigarette smoke. Who wants to do that?"
"I hate the smell of cigarette smoke," Robbie, 29, admits. "It reeks and it's awful. I don't care if you're Brooklyn Decker, there is no way in hell I am ever going to kiss you or wake up next to you if that's how you treat your body. I dated this girl once who was super into fitness but every time we left the gym together, she'd immediately need a cigarette. I think we dated for about two months before I was just like, 'this is ridiculous.'"
"I don't really care that much."
Kyle, 26, says that everyone has their vices. "Smoking isn't the most attractive thing in the world for a girl — or a guy — to do, especially on a first date, or during any point in a relationship (even more so if your partner isn't a smoker), but I mean, who am I to judge? Everyone has their vices and as long as there's an end point coming somewhere down the road, I'm fine with it."
Sean, 23, says that he's a social smoker, so he gets why it's hard for die-hard smokers to sever ties. "When I'm drunk, I love smoking. It's like the best thing in the world to me. Of course the next morning I hate myself, but you know, in the moment I’m like 'it doesn't get any better than this!' It's not a dealbreaker for me a in a relationship. I mean, I hate the smell of smoke when I'm not drinking or drunk, but I don't think it's something that would completely kill an attraction for me."
Ian, 29, agrees. "I would hate it if someone I was dating tried to tell me what I could and couldn't do, so I'd never be able to do that to someone else. I mean, it's not like I go looking for girls to date that are smokers, because I definitely don't, but you know what? Everyone has baggage. Maybe that's hers."
Which is worse? E-cigarettes or the real thing?
Dylan, 31, said that he doesn't care how you spin it: Cigarettes are cigarettes, even if they're "safe to smoke indoors." "If you really think that there's any difference between dying 30 years from now due to cigarettes and dying 30 years from now due to e-cigarettes, please don't even bother dating me because I don't want to deal with your ignorance. It's still a cigarette, still gonna kill you, still bad for your health no matter how companies try to dress it up."
But Mark, 34, disagrees. "Listen, I'm not advocating for smoking here, but if you're going to have a bad habit — at least let it be the real damn thing. Addicted to e-cigarettes? Come on. You like cigarettes, so own up to it. If you don't, then quit. Don't take the mistress to bed and expect to see different results."
What do you think of smoking? Tell us in the comments below.