Researcher Shows Two-third of people who try one cigarette got addicted to smoking

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More than two-thirds of people who try their first cigarette become at least temporarily, regular smokers, suggests a new research published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. The research compiled data of 2,15,000 respondents who participated in eight surveys in US, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Of those surveyed about 60 % had tried a cigarette, and of these almost 60% said they had gone on to become daily smokers. Given that the 8 surveys used different methodologies, the researchers estimated the results have a margin of error lying somewhere between 60.9 and 76.9 %.

Lead researcher Prof Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary University of London, said it was the first time the link between trying a first cigarette and becoming a regular smoker had been documented in such a large set of data.

“In the development of any addictive behaviour, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need. 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 UK is seeing a dramatic reduction in smoking at the moment and this tallies with recent findings that only 19% of 11 to 15-year-olds have ever tried a cigarette, so the good news is that we are on the right track.”

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