3 out of 5 who try a cigarette 'become smokers'

3 out of 5 who try a cigarette 'become smokers'

3 out of 5 who try a cigarette 'become smokers'

A recent study conducted in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom shows that 68% of those who tried smoking, at one point, become daily smokers.

Combined, the surveys (three from the USA, three from the United Kingdom, one from Australia, and one from New Zealand) included responses from more than 216,000 individuals who had been selected at random to provide a representative sample of the general adult population of the countries involved. 60 per cent of the youngsters revealed that they had tried a cigarette once in their lifetime, with almost 69 per cent admitted to having progressed to becoming addicts.

"[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.

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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. The results of each survey were collated and used to calculate a conversion rate from ever trying a cigarette to ever smoking daily.

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"In the development of any addictive behaviour, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need".

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It is no secret that cigarettes are highly addictive. "We've 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", Hajek added.

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He said: It is striking that very few non-smokers who try e-cigarettes become daily vapers, while such a large proportion of non-smokers who try conventional cigarettes become daily smokers.

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.

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

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