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The Romance of a Good Smoke

Other authorities weigh in continued...

Braiker remembers a reformed smoker married to a smoker, who refused to kiss her husband because of his tobacco breath. This went on, she says, for four years. They had sex -- and two kids -- but no kissing.

Some couples have told Braiker that smoking brings them closer. "It's an odd kind of togetherness," she says. One couple told her: "So, we'll die at the same time."

Nina Schneider, PhD, a UCLA researcher who has investigated nicotine sprays and other cessation methods, says the concept studied by Rohrbaugh makes sense to her, too. But she awaits additional scientific scrutiny of it, and says comparisons of quit rates should be made between smoking couples who receive the counseling about smoking's effect on relationships and those who do not. But it the idea bears out, she says, it would be a welcome addition to help those who thus far haven't been able to escape tobacco's grasp using existing methods.

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