Medicine

One cigarette is enough to make you an addict, says study

One cigarette is enough to make you an addict, says study

The findings, which were published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, are striking.

The researchers analyzed eight surveys from the Global Health Data Exchange, which included questions on the first trial of a cigarette as well as daily smoking habits.

"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 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.

This suggests that part of the reduction in smoking prevalence observed over the past 20 years is likely due to reduced experimentation with cigarettes among adolescents. An average of 60 percent of the more than 200,000 respondents had smoked a cigarette - and almost 69 percent of the nicotine-curious eventually formed a daily habit.

As different surveys used different methodologies, the 68.9% "conversion rate" has a 16% margin of error (60.9% to 76.9%).

While, concerns were expressed that e-cigarettes could be as addictive as conventional cigarettes, but this has not been the case, the study stated.

Researchers found that 69% of people who dabble with just one experimental cigarette end up smoking every day, even if just temporarily.

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 USA surveys to 82% in one of the United Kingdom surveys. "The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story", Hajek said.

The study authors said that this means cigarettes have a "remarkable hold" even after just one experience, and added that this confirmed the importance of stopping people from experimenting with tobacco products. Smoking rates were lowest in England (15.5%) and highest in Northern Ireland (18.1%).

According to the Office for National Statistics, 7.6 million British adults were smokers in 2016 - with Northern Ireland having the highest proportion of people with the habit.

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.