A new research suggests that most people who try just one cigarette for the first time are more likely to become habitual smokers. The research is based on surveys conducted in eight English-speaking countries.
Trying A Cigarette Can Lead To A Daily Habit
In the study, published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, researchers from the Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom examined the results of eight surveys conducted between the years 2000 and 2016.
These surveys included three from the United States, three from the United Kingdom, one from Australia, and, one from New Zealand.
The surveys, which were extracted from the Global Health Data Exchange, involved around 215,000 people who were chosen randomly in order to provide a general representation of the adult population.
The results of the study found that about 60.3 percent of the people claimed they had tried a cigarette at some point in their lives, and around 68.9 percent among them developed a regular habit.
In other words, around three out of five people who tried smoking a cigarette went on to become daily smokers.
"In the development of any addictive behaviour, the move from experimentation to daily practice is an important landmark, as it implies that a recreational activity is turning into a compulsive need," said Peter Hajek, the lead research of the study and professor at the Queen Mary University of London.
The Study Has Limitations
It is important to note that the result of the study has been considered to be an estimate because the surveys used different methods and came up with different results.
Also, the findings are based on self-reports, which raises questions about the accuracy of the recall the respondents had regarding their smoking history.
Cigarette Smoking In The United States
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is responsible for over 480,000 deaths every year in the country alone.
Cigarette smoking also caused around 7.1 million deaths worldwide in 2016 and is associated with a range of health conditions, which include cancer and respiratory diseases. In 2015, around 15 of every 100 American adults, or 36.5 million American adults, were cigarette smokers.
Cigarette Smoking Drops
According to the CDC, the rate of cigarette smoking among American adults managed to drop from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 15.1 percent in 2015. In the United Kingdom, there's a dramatic reduction in cigarette smoking at the moment. Recent findings show that only 19 percent of people aged 11 to 15 years have tried to smoke a cigarette.