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Just 1 Cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study

10 January 2018

The research team, led by Queen Mary University of London, says the "striking" figure illustrates the importance of dissuading adolescents from experimenting with tobacco.

"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", he said in a statement.

They said that the study, published in the journal Nicotine And Tobacco Research, provides support for reducing cigarette experimentation among teenagers.

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Anti-smoking campaigners say the findings lend weight to a campaign to licence tobacco retailers and put cigarettes on a par with alcohol.

For example, among the eight surveys, each revealed different percentages for those who became daily smokers, ranging from 52 percent in the U.S.to 82 percent in the United Kingdom, meaning the two-thirds estimate was a weighted average, not a standard proportion.

The data in current survey was collected from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand.

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After crunching the numbers even further, Hajek's team also uncovered that 60.3 percent of all interviewed individuals already tried their first cigarette and 68.3 percent of have begun smoking on a daily basis.

The researchers note that, The different surveys used different methodologies and yielded different results, so the estimated 68.9 percent "conversion rate" from experimentation to daily smoking has a margin of error (between 60.9 and 76.9 percent). As per the new research, those who consume one cigarette daily can develop a habit of chain smokers, and it can happen with more than two-thirds of people who use one cigarette in a day.

New study points out that the difference between a non-smoker and daily smoker is one cigarette.

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The public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) says the latest study highlights the risks children run of entering into a life of addiction when they experiment with tobacco.

Can One Cigarette Really Turn You into a Daily Smoker? She said, "The government is refusing to introduce licensing for tobacco retailers, even though there is strong support for this both from the public and retailers".

Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of adults who smoke with 18.1% being smokers, this compares to 15.5% of adults in England, 16.9% in Wales and 17.7% in Scotland.

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Just 1 Cigarette can trigger smoking addiction, says study