More than 60% who try a cigarette become daily smokers, study says

More than 60% who try a cigarette become daily smokers, study says

The best way not to start smoking is to not experiment with cigarettes, according to British scientists.

Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow found that there is a strong correlation between experimenting with cigarettes and becoming a regular smoker rather than sticking to occasional smoking.

In the United States, 52 per cent of the subjects of the study went on to become daily smokers while as the same percentage was 82 per cent in the UK. The research selected asked respondents whether they'd ever tried a cigarette and ever smoked daily.

Talking about study results, 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 total amount of respondents was of 216,314.

Researchers searched global databases for studies examining cigarette experimentation and smoking habits, including research from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

They revealed 17.7% of men are current smokers compared with 14.1% of women, with men smoking an average 12 cigarettes daily and women 11 per day.

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However, they did point out questions can be raised over the recall accuracy people have in surveys concerning their smoking history, so more research may be needed in this area.

They found 60.3 per cent had tried a cigarette, of whom 68.9 per cent progressed to habitual smoking.

"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", he said.

Hajek added that declining rates of smoking among younger people suggested that measures such as restrictions on sales and a shift away from portraying it as glamorous were having a positive effect.

"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.

Recent analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO) on cigarette consumption in Turkey shows a slight decline in the last decade, despite $85 billion spent on the tobacco industry in the past 10 years.

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