New FDA Campaign Focuses On Where Smokers Purchase Cigarettes

New FDA Campaign Focuses On Where Smokers Purchase Cigarettes

Henrietta Brewer
January 10, 2018

Two-thirds of people who try a cigarette go on to become daily smokers, a new study has found.

Data was compiled from eight studies from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand to gather their results.

Of the respondents, 60.3% said they had tried a cigarette, with 68.9% of those admitting they had progressed to daily smoking.

Lead researcher Professor Peter Hajek from Queen Mary's Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine 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".

Most of the people who are now addicted to smoking are the ones who started off with "what harm could one cigarette do".

Linda Bauld, professor of health policy at the University of Stirling, said the study highlighted the importance of preventing smoking in the first place.

Smoking just one cigarette for the first time in life can make more than two-thirds of people addicts, a survey involving over 215,000 people has revealed. Data were analysed to calculate the conversion rate from ever trying a cigarette to ever smoking daily.

Furthermore, because the variety of surveys used different methods, and yielded varying results, there is a margin of error between 60.9 and 76.9 percent.

There was also a large discrepancy in results between the surveys, with the conversion rate from trying cigarettes to daily smoker ranging from 50% in one of the U.S. surveys to 82% in one of the United Kingdom surveys.

"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".

One was that the surveys had yielded different results for the proportions who had progressed to becoming daily smokers - from 52% in one in the U.S. to 82% in one in the United Kingdom - which meant the 68.9% figure was an estimate, as a weighted average of the figures.

The conversion rates (from one cigarette to daily smoking habit) varied quite substantially depending on the survey, the lowest being 50 percent (a United States survey) and the highest being 82 percent (a UK survey). "The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story", Hajek said.

It is no secret that cigarettes are highly addictive.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics also showed that across the United Kingdom, more men are smokers than women.

Meanwhile around 2.9 million people in the United Kingdom were e-cigarette users in 2016, it said.

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