Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

A single cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study

A single cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study Majority who experiment with cigarettes go on to become smokers, study finds
Melissa Porter | 10 January, 2018, 18:02

A recent analysis of survey answers shows that more than two thirds of people from English speaking, developed countries went on to become daily smokers if they had ever tried a cigarette.

Researchers found that just over 60% of adults said they had tried a cigarette at some point in their lives, with nearly 69% of those noting that they had, at least for a period, gone on to smoke cigarettes daily.

"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", said Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, who led the research.

The researchers calculated that 60.3% of people across the surveys had tried smoking a cigarette at least once.

All the surveys included questions about ever trying a cigarette and any subsequent daily smoking habit.

The study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, compiled data from eight surveys carried out between 2000 and 2016 and recorded in the Global Health Data Exchange. In the development of any addictive behavior, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need.

As different surveys used different methodologies, the 68.9% "conversion rate" has a 16% margin of error (60.9% to 76.9%).

A single cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study

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

It is no secret that cigarettes are highly addictive.

In 2016, 15.5% of adults from the United Kingdom smoked - about 7.6 million people - according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 19.9% in 2010. "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.

An estimated 2.9 million Britons used e-cigarettes in 2016.

"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".

"We want to celebrate the quit attempt itself because the evidence is clear, the more attempts you make to quit the more likely it is that you will succeed", says Zeller.