Larry James' BLOG

Friday, May 20, 2011

10 Reasons it’s Tough to Love a Smoker

Filed under: Health & Wellness — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Smoking is a bad habit. Despite the fact that the negative aspects of smoking are well documented, many people still choose to smoke on a regular basis. Those who choose to smoke take on day-to-day lifestyle changes that can change the way they interact with others and drastically affect their personal health and hygiene. Here are 10 reasons why it’s tough to love a smoker:

Smoking man1. Secondhand Smoke: One of the biggest reasons it’s hard to love a smoker is secondhand smoke. Your health is at risk when smokers light up next to you and blow smoke around you. Second hand smoke has been shown to be even more unhealthy than first-hand smoke and this can have major health consequences for those who unwittingly breathe it in. If you know a smoker who continually smokes around you, urge them to do so outside and away from others who don’t want to smoke.

2. Smelly Clothes: Tobacco smoke has a distinct and lingering odor that is incredibly difficult to eliminate from clothing. Cologne, Febreeze, and other odor fighters just don’t seem to completely mask the sometimes overpowering smell of smoke. As a result, even if you haven’t smoked in hours, people around you will likely be able to identify you as a smoker. That constant odor can make snuggling up with a smoker more challenging than a non-smoker.

3. Bad Breath: No matter how often they brush their teeth or gargle mouthwash, smokers are left with bad breath. Kissing a smoker is really like kissing an ashtray. And it gets worse. A smoker’s teeth and gums suffer major consequences that can result in crooked, yellow teeth, receding gums, and other dental problems. The oral hygiene issues surrounding smokers can make loving them that much harder, especially if you are a stickler for bad breath.

“Kissing someone who smokes is like licking the bottom of an ashtray!” ~ Larry James

4. Expensive Habit: Smoking is an expensive habit. Depending on how many cigarettes a smoker has per day and how long they’ve been smoking, it can add up to thousands of dollars out the door every year. That money could be put towards better, more productive things than smoking. If someone close to you is a smoker, see how much they smoke and calculate how much money they are setting no fire every time they light up. Maybe that will help them to quit.

5. Disappearing Act: Most smokers have mastered the art of the smoke break. That means they know how to disappear from any situation to get in a few quick puffs. This disappearing act can make working with smokers difficult, as they tend to disappear just when you need them. Chances are, however, that you can find them at their favorite smoking spot enjoying a few minutes of peace. Non-smokers don’t get that kind of freedom, and that can make loving a smoker even harder.

6. Grouchy: Ever been around a smoker who hasn’t had a cigarette in a while? If not, it might be a good idea to avoid them. That’s because a smoker who has gone without for a long period of time tends to be grouchy. Sometimes they can be downright mean. When a smoker abstains, the nicotine level in their blood drops, and they begin to crave nicotine while simultaneously experiencing withdrawal symptoms like headache and nausea. The best thing you can do is avoid a smoker when they are in desperate need of a cigarette.

7. Bad Attitude: Even when a smoker has had their fix, their dependence on cigarettes can sometimes bring about a negative attitude in general. From the worker who takes a smoke break when they might be on call to the young rebellious teenager who smokes to get back at overbearing parents, smokers can sometimes have a uniquely stubborn and pessimistic attitude. Of course, not all smokers are like this, but those that are can definitely be harder to love.

8. Refuses to Quit: A smoker does not give up their habit likely. That’s mainly because cigarettes are frighteningly addictive. If you try to encourage a smoker to quit, you’re likely to be disappointed. Cigarette smoking has one of the highest relapse rates of any habit and that means trying to get a smoker to quit is probably a fruitless attempt.

9. Poor Health: Smoking is not a healthy habit. Not only can it leave otherwise healthy individuals short of breath, but it can also cause long term health effects that can be far more devastating. Knowing this can cause frustration for non-smokers who only want the best for their smoker friends. Despite the well-known health effects, smokers can be stubborn about quitting, and that makes them harder to love.

10. Smelly Car: There is something unique about a smoker’s vehicle. It’s definitely the smell. Like a smoker’s clothes and an indoor smoker’s home, a smoker’s car takes on the distinct aroma of cigarette smoke. But the car has a special tool of torture for non-smokers: Air conditioning. In the summer when a smoker first starts their car in the evening, hot, smelly cigarette smoke air is blown right in your face. This can be very frustrating for a non-smoker.

BONUS Article: Smoking “Low-Tar” & “Lights”? You’re Fooling Yourself!

Larry’s Note: Only in America. . . do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front of the store! 😉


Copyright © 2011 – Reprinted with permission.

Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

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  1. My husband is a smoker who smokes outside of the house does his smoking affect my health when he kisses me?

    Comment by LaVerne Reed — Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

    • Only if he doesn’t pop a breath mint before the kiss. 😉

      Comment by Larry James — Thursday, June 27, 2013 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  2. thank you for this wonderful article 🙂 thank you 🙂

    Comment by zerah — Monday, July 16, 2012 @ 4:33 am | Reply

  3. Reason #11, and the top one for me, is that when you love a smoker, you eventually get to watch them suffer from emphysema or any number of other smoking-related diseases… and then they die. I went through this when my Mom died from emphysema, and my step-dad of lung cancer just 8 months later. But before they passed away, they suffered horribly. Mom was on oxygen for the last 3 years of her life, and had to use a motorized scooter to get around the last year, because she had no lung capacity for even the mildest of activities. It’s so sad, and devastating for those who love them.

    Comment by lifestorylady — Friday, May 20, 2011 @ 10:04 am | Reply

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