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

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”

At least 60% of people who try cigarettes once go on to become daily smokers, even if it's temporary, research suggests.

Researchers searched global databases for studies examining cigarette experimentation and smoking habits, including research from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 60 per cent of the youngsters revealed that they had tried a cigarette once in their lifetime, with almost 69 per cent admitted to having progressed to becoming addicts.

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.

Most of the people who are now addicted to smoking are the ones who started off with "what harm could one cigarette do".

Together, the surveys included more than 216,000 respondents, with between 50% and 82% saying that, after trying a cigarette, they had gone on to smoke on a daily basis - at least temporarily. Data were analysed to calculate the conversion rate from ever trying a cigarette to ever smoking daily. In the development of any addictive behavior, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need.

Linda Bauld, professor of health policy at the University of Stirling, said the study highlighted the importance of preventing smoking in the first place.

Taking just one drag of a cigarette is enough to get you hooked, a study has found.

"The UK is seeing a dramatic reduction in smoking at the moment and this tallies with recent findings that only 19 per cent of 11-15 year olds have ever tried a cigarette, so the good news is that we are on the right track".

"Alcohol can only be sold by licensed shops, while anyone can sell cigarettes, which are far more addictive and lethal".

In 2016, 15.8% of adults smoked - equivalent to around 7.6 million people. "It is striking that very few non-smokers who try e-cigarettes become daily vapers, while such a large proportion on non-smokers who try conventional cigarettes become daily smokers".

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

"We want to celebrate the quit attempt itself because the evidence is clear, the more attempts you make to quit the more likely it is that you will succeed", says Zeller.

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