Samia Huq: 10 January 2018: At least 3 out of 5 people who try a cigarette become daily smokers, suggests to a study.
Researchers found 69 per cent of people who had ever tried a cigarette had gone on to become a daily smoker, even if just temporarily.
Lead researcher Professor Peter Hajek from Queen Mary said: "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.
The findings from over 2,15,000 survey respondents provide strong support for prioritizing efforts to reduce cigarette experimentation among adolescents.
The researchers searched the Global Health Data Exchange for relevant surveys that included questions about ever trying a cigarette and ever smoking daily.
Given the high conversion rate found in all existing 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.
The findings have been published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.