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More than 60% of people who try a cigarette become daily smokers

At least three out of five people who experiment with a cigarette end up becoming daily smokers at some point, a new study finds.


A study done in the United Kingdom found that out of the 215,000 people across eight surveys conducted in the UK, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand 60% of the respondents had at least tried a cigarette in their life with 69% of those individuals going on to be daily smokers. 

In an interview with CNN Peter Hajek, professor of clinical psychology and director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said, "This is the first time that the remarkable hold that cigarettes can establish after a single experience has been documented form such a large set of data."

Almost 9 out of 10 cigarette smokers in the US first tried smoking before they were 18, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Trends in the United States, such as tobacco bans and increasing tobacco purchasing age, has resulted in 8% of high school students reporting in 2016 that they had smoked a cigarette in the previous 30 days which is a decline from from an almost 16% in 2011. 

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the nonprofit Action on Smoking and Health, said the research "highlights the risks children run of entering into a life of addiction when they experiment with smoking. And make no mistake, this is an addiction of childhood. Two-thirds of adult smokers started smoking for the first time when they were children."
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