Most People Who Try Cigarettes Once Become Habitual Smokers

A single cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study

New analysis of survey data suggests that almost 61% of people who try their first cigarette become daily smokers, at least temporarily.

They add: "The finding supports strongly the current efforts to reduce cigarette experimentation among adolescents".

The latest research, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, sought to identify the proportion of smokers' "conversion rate" - how many people start smoking daily after trying cigarettes once.

The study was based on the data collected from the Global Data Exchange which consisted data of eight surveys which has been conducted since 2000.

All the surveys included questions about ever trying a cigarette and any subsequent daily smoking habit.

A recent study conducted in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom shows that 68% of those who tried smoking, at one point, become daily smokers.

Given the high conversion rate found in all existing surveys, the researchers suggest that at least some of the reduction in smoking prevalence observed over the past 20 years is likely due to reduced experimentation with cigarettes among adolescents. In the United Kingdom, only 19 percent of 11 to 15 years olds reported having tried a cigarette, according to 2016 National Health Service, and in the USA, only eight percent of high school students reported having smoked in the past 30 days. This does not take recall error and personal bias into account, as the study relies on people to provide information about their historical smoking habits. According to the researchers, one smoking experience is enough to leave a "remarkable hold" on the first timer.

The researchers found that 60.3 percent of respondents had said they had ever tried a cigarette, and among those, an estimated 68.9 percent said they had progressed to daily smoking.

"Tobacco use starts in childhood for two-thirds of smokers in the United Kingdom, and this study suggests that even trying a cigarette becomes regular use in most cases", she added.

If you have a circle of friends and anyone around you who are daily smokers, then you might have thought to give it a try once for sure. "The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story", Hajek said. Smoking rates were lowest in England (15.5%) and highest in Northern Ireland (18.1%).

In 2016, 15.5% of the adults from the United Kingdom smoked, down from 19.9% in 2010, according to the office for National Statistics.

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