At least three out of five people who experiment with a cigarette end up being daily smokers at some point, says a new study.
Researchers in Britain analyzed the responses of 215,000 people in eight surveys conducted in Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand that were included in the Global Health Data Exchange.
The team found a little more than 60% had tried the cigarette and, among them, almost 69% reported that they had become daily smokers.
“This is the first time that the remarkable assertion that the habit of cigarettes can be established after a single experience has been documented from such a large data set,” said Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Unit. of Tobacco Research Unit of the Queen Mary University of London, who led the study.
“In the development of any addictive behavior, the step from experimentation to daily practice is an important milestone, since it implies that recreational activity is becoming a compulsive necessity,” he said in the statement.
As different surveys were included and analyzed, with different methods and styles, the researchers noted that the percentage of people who became regular smokers had confidence intervals between 60% and 76.9%.
Hajek added that this is a high “conversion rate” to smoking and stresses the importance of preventing people from trying cigarettes in the first place and that part of the reduction in terms of number of smokers in recent years is likely to be favored by a fewer teenagers who try the cigarette.
Nearly nine in 10 cigarette smokers in the United States smoked for the first time before they were 18, according to the CDC.
Information from 2016 of the National Health Service found that 19% of children between 11 and 15 years old in England had smoked.
The trend in the United States has dropped: 8% of high school students reported in 2016 that they had smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days. The figure in 2011 was 16%.
“The finding provides strong support for current efforts to reduce cigarette experimentation among adolescents,” the authors of the new study wrote.
Deborah Arnott, executive director of the nonprofit Action on Smocking and Healt, said the research “highlights the risks children face of entering a life of addiction when they experiment with smoking.”
“Make no mistake, this is a childhood addiction,” adds Arnott. “Two-thirds of adult smokers started smoking for the first time as children.”
Erik Horn has been a senior editor at Med News Ledger for three years. Fluent in French and proficient in Spanish and Arabic, he focuses on diseases and conditions He’s a born-and-raised Torontonian and spends most of his weekends in search of strong coffee and stronger Wi-Fi. There are several ways to contact Erik here.