Most People Who Try One Cigarette Become Daily Smokers, Study Says

Taking just one drag of a cigarette is enough to get you hooked a study at Queen Mary University of London has found after analysing the smoking habits of more than 215,000 people

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.

Research gathered from 215,000 survey participants in the U.S., U.K, Australia and New Zealand showed 60.3 percent of people had tried smoking cigarettes, and of those who tried it, an estimated 68.9 percent picked up a daily habit.

"It is possible that somebody who is a lifetime non-smoker did try a cigarette when they were a kid but it didn't make any impression on them, and they forgot it or don't see that it is important enough to report", Peter Hajek, professor of psychology and Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Marys, told the Guardian.

The researchers calculated that 60.3% of people across the surveys had tried smoking a cigarette at least once.

Study authors said the findings provide strong support for prioritising efforts to reduce cigarette experimentation among adolescents. Data were analysed to calculate the conversion rate from ever trying a cigarette to ever smoking daily.

"We've found that the conversion rate from first-time smoker to daily smoker is surprisingly high, which helps confirm the importance of preventing cigarette experimentation in the first place", he said.

The authors conclude: "The transition from trying the first cigarette through occasional to daily smoking usually implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need that has to be satisfied virtually continuously".

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The study was concentrated on revealing just how addictive smoking can be, and how it can turn into a habit even for those people who only smoke occasionally or just once.

He added: 'It is striking that very few non-smokers who try e-cigarettes become daily vapers, while such a large proportion of non-smokers who try conventional cigarettes become daily smokers. Among those, 68.9% said they had gone on to smoke every day.

"The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story".

While all surveys point to the fact that trying cigarettes once is highly likely to lead to daily smoking, there exist some variations from one survey to the next.

Almost three million are now using e-cigarettes in a bid to quit, according to the Office for National Statistics.

An estimated 2.9 million Britons used e-cigarettes in 2016.

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