Love in the air after July 1, says survey

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Smoking

Love could be in the air and not smoke once the English smoking ban comes into force next week, a new study shows. With smokers forced to step...

Love could be in the air and not smoke once the English smoking ban comes into force next week, a new study shows.

With smokers forced to step outside to light up, smoking shelters across England are set to be the backdrop for flirtatious fellas and gossiping girls, according to research by pub group Greene King.

The pub group quizzed smokers around the UK about how they currently use smoking facilities in their workplaces and asked if usage would translate to the social setting of the pub once the ban kicks in on July 1. Smokers admit that they already use smoking areas at work for gossip, flirting and dishing the dirt on others, and say they will definitely be doing the same thing when English men are almost three times more likely than women to use smoking areas as an opportunity to chat up the opposite sex while women are most likely to use the outdoor areas for a girly gossip, with outside smoking areas replacing pub loos as the place to have a quiet natter. Nearly half of women smokers quizzed (47 per cent) said they now use smoking shelters rather than a trip to the "ladies" for a "goss".

Greene King's Sue Thomas-Taylor said: "Our poll of existing smoking habits in the office has revealed that as smokers make the move to outside areas of pubs and bars, they'll be taking their gossip and chat up lines with them! So whether they're looking to meet Miss or Mr Right or simply want to share in the gossip, they'll have the ideal surroundings."

Further findings of the research include:

• Females are by no means naïve to the fact that men are on the prowl for puffing passion, with as many ladies as lads believing that outdoor flirting will increase once the smoking ban kicks in

• Almost a third of office workers already use their cigarette break as a chance to discuss their work-life prospects or a new job opportunity

• Twice as many men than women already use an outside cigarette to get an inside track on a job opportunity.

• This is set to continue with 63 per cent of men likely to use outdoor smoking areas in pubs to network for new job opportunities when they go for a pint after work

• The North East is the most flirtations region (52 per cent) admitted to flirting whilst having a cigarette outside) with the North West being the least flirtatious (20 per cent confessed)

• The East Midlands holds the largest number of gossip mongers (60 per cent of smokers admitted that they would share gossip whilst having a cigarette outside a bar), with London and the South West being the least likely to indulge in hearsay (33 per cent )

• Smokers in the West Midlands are most likely to look to outdoor smoking areas for new job opportunities (76 per cent ). Smokers in East England were found to be the least ambitious in terms of seeking out new job opportunities in outdoor smoking areas (40 per cent )

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