Researchers at the University of Bristol have published a study which suggests smokers are deemed as less attractive than non-smokers.
The study, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, presented more than 500 participants with the faces of 23 sets of identical twins, plus a male and female prototype. The research explored two aspects of smoking and facial appearance.
Firstly, does facial appearance alone provide an indication of smoking status and, secondly, how does smoking affect the attractiveness of faces? The male and female participants were able to correctly identify which of the male and female prototype faces was the smoker, 70% of the time. Both men and women also predominantly chose the non-smoker prototype faces as the more attractive of the two.
The researchers believe that their findings could be instrumental in promoting changes in smoking behaviour, especially among young people. Study researchers said, “Young people are particularly sensitive to the potential negative effects smoking has on their attractiveness as they age. The findings, particularly those for the prototypes that represent the characteristic facial features of smokers and non-smokers, have the potential to be of utility in developing and improving smoking behaviour change interventions.”