The study ended with the men being shown into a smokers’ room and told they could light up while they filled in a survey.

Those who had looked at the beautiful women were not only more likely to smoke – they also got through twice as many cigarettes, the journal Evolution & Human Behavior reports.

The researchers, from Kaohsiung Medical University, said: ‘The present study indicates that the mating mindset induced by viewing pictures of attractive women may reduce control over the impulse to smoke.’

They said that men who want to give up smoking might benefit from thinking about whether the women they come across in their everyday life are stopping them from succeeding.