New study shows most people who try cigarettes become regular smokers


"This is the first time that the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience has been documented from such a large set of data", said lead researcher Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University.

The researchers found that more than half of the respondents (60%) had tried a cigarette and 69% of these people went on to smoking daily for some time.

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".

Tobacco companies know it, and now it's been proven - it's incredibly easy to get addicted to smoking.

Data from eight surveys - with information on more than 215,000 people - were included for analysis. "We recently launched a new tobacco control plan to map the path to a smoke-free generation and are working to educate people about the risks and support them to quit for good".

They revealed 17.7% of men are current smokers compared with 14.1% of women, with men smoking an average 12 cigarettes daily and women 11 per day.

Considering the high conversion rate found across the surveys, the researchers conclude that at least some of the decline in smoking prevalence observed over the last 20 years could be attributed to a reduction in experimentation by adolescents.

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Of the responses, just over 60 percent had ever tried a cigarette, and among those, nearly 69 percent reported that they had gone on to become daily smokers.

They say that as the surveys used different methods, there was quite a wide margin of error and the "conversion" rate could be anywhere between 60.9% and 76.9%. This tendency of nature works as the starting point for many which slowly makes them habitual to smoking and at the point when the person gets realized that he is not able to leave without it, the situation became hard for him to quit this habit immediately.

Prof Hajek added that it doesn't seem to be the case that e-cigarettes are as addictive as conventional cigarettes.

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.

More than two-thirds of people who try tobacco for the first time go on to become daily smokers. "The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story", Hajek said.

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