Health And Wellness

6 Painful Ways Your Smoking Habit Damages Your Relationship

Photo: Billion Photos | Odua Images | Canva / RDNE Stock project | Pexels
Man smoking

As someone who has been both the smoker and the nonsmoker in relationships, I can tell you plenty of disadvantages to having a smoking habit that is beyond the mere health risks — all of which should signify that it's time to quit smoking for the sake of your relationships.

But I know that I needed a lot of other reasons that I could actually see and experience right away to help encourage me to quit since the accompanying health problems and effects of smoking tend to come about a lot slower and feel less tangible until it's often too late.

Sadly, smoking definitely negatively affects relationships, too. Well, it's just another reason to drop your smoking habit, right? Here's how.

RELATED: This Is What Smoking For 30 Years Does To Your Face

Here are 6 painful ways your smoking habit damages your relationship:

1. Your partner may not want to cuddle with you at night because you smell like smoke (no matter how hard you try).

When I was in a relationship with a guy who didn't smoke, I was a moderate-to-heavy smoker (I smoked anywhere from 6-7 cigarettes a day). He would always complain about how hard it was to hold me while we were sleeping because, at the end of the day, my hair always smelled like cigarettes unless I took a shower right before bed.

Unfortunately, when you're someone who smokes (even just a cigarette or two a day), people will smell the smoke that's left on your clothes and in your hair throughout the day — it's extremely hard to mask the scent. As much as we may try to be a "secret smoker" and try all sorts of creative ways of hiding the scent of cigarettes or cigars, at the end of the day it's often an uphill battle that can't be won. As an article published in 2018 claims, there is no such thing as a "secret smoker".

Author Tracy Moore clearly explains that "someone, somewhere, always knows you smoke. The question is only how long you can get away with keeping it from the people you actually love."

It was frustrating as a smoker in a relationship with someone who didn't smoke, as sometimes I would come home exhausted and didn't feel like doing so until the next morning, so we would wind up simply not cuddling that night, which both of us genuinely loved doing. It created a disconnect and we often felt that lack of closeness when we woke up.

2. The smell of smoke on your furniture and your partner's clothes can become a serious issue.

Your partner does not want his clothes, sheets, or furniture to smell like cigarette smoke, and vice versa. Even if you used to be a smoker and were previously used to the smell, it's still unappealing to have that scent linger all around you, especially if you've recently quit smoking.

Although you could try things like washing your clothes with baking soda, using extra drying sheets, or deodorizing spray, unfortunately, it's not always possible to rid your things (and your partner's things) of third-hand smoke.

Either way, it's inconvenient (as trips to the laundry room or laundromat become tedious, yet necessary) and unpleasant for both of you — and could cause a rift in your relationship with one another.

3. Not only are you endangering yourself, but you're putting your partner at risk for illness, too.

Obviously, people who smoke have to worry about heart disease, lung disease, and other serious issues, but, in general, smokers just plain get sick more often.

While your partner will likely be okay with taking care of you, it's not exactly fun to deal with a person who perpetually gets colds and could likely avoid many of them if only he or she would quit smoking.

Also, like it or not, smoking around someone who doesn't smoke puts them at a higher risk too. According to the American Cancer Society, "Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer – even in people who have never smoked." They go on to explain that secondhand smoke "cannot be controlled with ventilation, air cleaning, or by separating smokers from non-smokers," so there is no real way for a non-smoking partner to be free from the health risks posed by their partner's smoking habits.

RELATED: How I Quit Smoking (With Some Help From The Little Blue Mustache Light At The Tip Of My E-Cig)

4. Smoking can kill your libido and endurance in the bedroom.

When I was in college, I dated a guy who smoked every day. I wasn't smoking at the time in an attempt to get healthy and was exercising frequently to help that goal.

He also worked out constantly, but because of his smoking, his endurance in the bedroom gradually lessened as he was less able to perform strenuous activities without huffing and puffing and taking breaks. This was noticeably frustrating and decreased our intimate activity, leaving us both unsatisfied.



5. Smoking and birth control can cause serious health complications.

Do you know how birth control commercials always state that women over 25 should not smoke while on the pill, NuvaRing, OrthoEvra patch? That's for a good reason.

There is evidence that birth control's effectiveness can lessen or even cause heart problems when you’re a smoker, depending on conditions such as the type of birth control, your age, and the amount you smoke per day. Don't take a risk with your body like that; stick to the pill, not the pack.

6. The life expectancy of both the smoking and non-smoking partner diminishes.

Should you be lucky enough to find the one person you want to stay with and decide to spend the rest of your life with him, you want that life to be long. You want it to be fulfilled and happy, right up until the non-premature end, right?

Well, the risk of lung cancer death in female smokers has increased in recent years, so the longer you continue to smoke, the less time you'll have with your partner. On the flip side, the sooner you quit, the more time you can count on.

RELATED: What 46 Years Of Smoking Did To Me

Sam H. Escobar is the Deputy Director at Allure Magazine.