Three in Five First-Time Smokers Become Daily Smokers, Says Study
Jan 11, 2018, 00:30
Individuals in the United Kingdom, for example, were particularly susceptible to becoming regular smokers after trying one cigarette, as more than 80 percent of respondents there who had smoked one cigarette reported taking up a daily habit.
"We've found that the conversion rate from "first time smoker" to "daily smoker" is surprisingly high", he said.
The analysis was based on the answers of 215,000 respondents to eight surveys from 2000 to 2016 kept in the Global Health Data Exchange.
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.
They found 60.3 per cent had tried a cigarette, of whom 68.9 per cent progressed to habitual smoking.
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.
However, Professor Hajek but refutes a link between daily smoking and vaping. Only 19 per cent from age group 11 to 15 has ever tried a cigarette.
While it is natural to see some variation between surveys, it is interesting to note that United Kingdom respondents were consistently more likely to say they developed a habit compared to those from the other three countries.
Across the United Kingdom, more men are smokers than women - with men smoking an average of 12 cigarettes a day, one more than their female counterparts. But, he noted, the influence of e-cigarettes should also be explored, since the decline in smoking rates in England has accelerated since the devices came onto the market.
In 2016, 15.8% of British adults smoked which equates to around 7.6 million people.
Professor Peter Hajek added: "Concerns were expressed that e-cigarettes could be as addictive as conventional cigarettes, but this has not been the case".
"The majority of people who try a cigarette go on to become regular smokers for at least some period of time, according to new research". "The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story", Hajek said.
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