Most of the people who are now addicted to smoking are the ones who started off with "what harm could one cigarette do".
Considering the high conversion rate found across the surveys, the researchers conclude that at least some of the decline in smoking prevalence observed over the last 20 years could be attributed to a reduction in experimentation by adolescents.
A recent study conducted in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom shows that 68% of those who tried smoking, at one point, become daily smokers. The research selected asked respondents whether they'd ever tried a cigarette and ever smoked daily.
They added that it showed the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience - and said the findings should be used to warn teenagers against experimenting with tobacco. In total, data was available from 216,314 adults. 60 per cent of the youngsters revealed that they had tried a cigarette once in their lifetime, with almost 69 per cent admitted to having progressed to becoming addicts.
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Scientists from Queen Mary University of London analysed data from more than 215,000 adults from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
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.
However, Professor Hajek but refutes a link between daily smoking and vaping.
While all surveys point to the fact that trying cigarettes once is highly likely to lead to daily smoking, there exist some variations from one survey to the next.
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'The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story'.
As different surveys were included and analyzed, with different methods and styles, the researchers note that the percentage of people who become regular smokers had confidence intervals between 60% and 76.9%.
"It is striking that very few non-smokers who try e-cigarettes become daily vapers, while such a large proportion on non-smokers who try conventional cigarettes become daily smokers". It's also possible that smokers in developed country - where cigarettes have an increasing stigma - would not be eager to speak about their smoking habits to surveyors.
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