Three in Five First-Time Smokers Become Daily Smokers, Says Study
Three in Five First-Time Smokers Become Daily Smokers, Says Study
A single cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study
11 January, 2018, 03:10
The team found that 60.3% of respondents had said they had ever tried a cigarette, and among those, 68.9% said they had progressed to daily smoking. The study included data from countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
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.
According to the lead researcher, Professor Peter Hajek, from the Queen Mary University of London, it is the first time a connection between trying the first cigarette and becoming a regular smoker has been established using such a large number of participants.
"[This shows] prevention, providing [fewer] opportunities or reasons for young people to try a cigarette, is a good idea", said Peter Hajek, co-author of the research, from Queen Mary University of London.
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.
Further, Hajek revealed that the United Kingdom witnessed a commendable reduction in smoking, and the recent findings confirm that.
Have you ever just smoked a cigarette to "try" it?
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At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests. In 2010 nearly 20% of people smoke in the United Kingdom, and in 2017 that number shrunk to 19.3%.
In the same period, 19.3% of 18- to 24-year-olds were smokers, compared with 25.8% in 2010.
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.
"The government is refusing to introduce licensing for tobacco retailers, even though there is strong support for this both from the public and retailers", she said.
Data were analysed to calculate the conversion rate from ever trying a cigarette to ever smoking daily.
The public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says the latest study highlights the risks children run of entering into a life of addiction when they experiment with tobacco.
The conversion rates (from one cigarette to daily smoking habit) varied quite substantially depending on the survey, the lowest being 50 percent (a United States survey) and the highest being 82 percent (a United Kingdom survey).
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