Most people who try one cigarette become daily smokers, study says

From BBC - January 9, 2018

At least two-thirds of those who try cigarettes go on to become daily smokers, even if only temporarily, research suggests.

Data from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand found 60.3% of people had tried smoking and an estimated 68.9% of those progressed to a daily habit.

The study's authors said the research showed the "remarkable hold" cigarettes could establish after one experience.

They said it confirmed the importance of stopping cigarette experimentation.

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'Right track'

The meta-analysis, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, was based on 215,000 respondents to eight surveys between 2000 and 2016 contained in the Global Health Data Exchange.

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.

"We have 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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