Most People Who Try Cigarettes Once Become Habitual Smokers

Two in three kids get hooked on smoking from their first cigarette, shocking study reveals

A single cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study

More than two-thirds of people who try tobacco for the first time go on to become daily smokers.

The sample subjects of the research included people from four countries including the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand.

Lead researcher Professor Peter Hajek, a psychologist at Queen Mary, said: 'This is the first time the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience has been documented from such a large set of data.

Previous research has noted cigarettes are unusual in that many people report not liking the taste on their first puffs - yet still go on to be regular smokers.

The study is published in the journal Nicotine And Tobacco Research. Further analysis showed that, taken together, an estimated 68.9% of individuals smoked daily for a period after trying a cigarette.

Given the high conversion rate found in surveys, the researchers suggest that at least some of the reduction in smoking prevalence observed over the past 20 years is likely due to reduced experimentation with cigarettes among adolescents.

Furthermore, because the variety of surveys used different methods, and yielded varying results, there is a margin of error between 60.9 and 76.9 percent.

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".

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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.

According to the World Health Organization study, 27.1 percent of Turkish people smoked cigarettes in 2015, compared to 31.2 percent in 2010.

For example, among the eight surveys, each revealed different percentages for those who became daily smokers, ranging from 52 percent in the 82 percent in the United Kingdom, meaning the two-thirds estimate was a weighted average, not a standard proportion.

It is no secret that cigarettes are highly addictive.

'The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story'.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 7.6 million British adults were smokers in 2016 - with Northern Ireland having the highest proportion of people with the habit.

Around 2.9 million Britons were e-cigarette users in 2016.

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