Three in Five First-Time Smokers Become Daily Smokers, Says Study

A new study has shown “the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience”

A new study has shown “the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience”JONATHAN BRADY PA

They added that it showed the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience - and said the findings should be used to warn teenagers against experimenting with tobacco.

The findings, which were published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, are striking.

Researchers collected data from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand and found that of the 60.3% who had tried smoking, an estimated 68.9% went on to make it a daily habit, the BBC reports.

But he said the United Kingdom was seeing a "dramatic reduction in smoking", with only 19 per cent of 11 to 15-yearolds having tried it.

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".

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.

Researchers found that just over 60% of adults said they had tried a cigarette at some point in their lives, with nearly 69% of those noting that they had, at least for a period, gone on to smoke cigarettes daily.

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"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. 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.

Prof Hajek added: "Concerns were expressed that e-cigarettes could be as addictive as conventional cigarettes, but this has not been the case".

Good news is in both the US and England, the rate of first time smoking among young people is on a decline.

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests.

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

Based on survey results from 4 different countries - including the United Kingdom - the findings highlight how addictive tobacco cigarettes are, and the importance of ensuring that stop smoking services are made available to help people quit.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 7.6 million British adults were smokers in 2016 - with Northern Ireland having the highest proportion of people with the habit.

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