One cigarette typically leads to daily smoking, study reports
A new study shows that people are likely to smoke for an extended period of time if they try just one cigarette.

Joseph Scalise | Apr 19, 2018

Over two-thirds of people who try a single cigarette end up becoming regular smokers, according to a recentstudypublished in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

This study -- which comes from scientists at Queen Mary University of London -- found that more than 60 percent of adults reported that they had tried a cigarette at some point in their lives. Of those, 69 percent stated they had smoked daily, at least for a period of time.

Scientists gathered that information by pooling data from eight surveys conducted since the year 2000. The trials covered more than 216,000 respondents, between 50 percent and 82 percent of which reported that a single cigarette caused them to smoke on a daily basis. Further research also revealed that an estimated 68.9 percent of individuals smoked daily for an extended period of time after trying a cigarette.

That shows a clear trend and provides new insight into how quickly someone can become addicted.

"This is the first time that the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience has been documented from such a large set of data," saidstudy co-author Peter Hajek, a researcher from Queen Mary University of London, according toUSA Today.

Though the team found that the results of the study were not skewed by smokers being less likely to respond in surveys than non-smokers, there were some limitations. For instance, the findings are based on respondents self-reporting information, which means the gathered data is only an estimate.

Even so, the declining rates of smoking among younger people suggested that measures like restrictions on sales and a shift away from portraying the act as "cool" are working.The study also reveals the importance of preventing smoking in the first place, and the team hopes it will spur officials to continue taking steps to stop young people from trying cigarettes.


"[This shows] prevention, providing [fewer] opportunities or reasons for young people to try a cigarette, is a good idea," added Hajek, according toThe Guardian.

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