Hayden McRobbie and Professor Peter Hajek of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry headed the study.
The research was aimed to find the credibility in the hypothesis that those who find the smell of smoke pleasant are more likely to relapse than those who have a neutral or negative reaction to it.
In the study, a group of over a thousand smokers receiving smoking cessation treatment at the East London Smokers Clinic were examined.
In the six weeks of treatment (two weeks prior to quitting and four weeks afterwards) the smokers completed a weekly questionnaire that measured the severity of their withdrawal discomfort.
The participants were also asked to rate how pleasant the smell of other people's cigarettes was during the past week.
The researchers observed that during their first week of abstinence, 23 per cent of respondents found the smell of other people's cigarette smoke pleasant.
However, finding the cigarette smoke pleasant was in no way related to smoking status in the following week.
"Recent quitters can be reassured that finding the smell of cigarette smoke pleasant is not likely to lead them back to smoking," said lead author Dr Hayden McRobbie.
The study is published online in the November issue of Addiction.