Smoke rises from a burning cigarette as a woman smokes on the street in Bordeaux
Picture for representation Reuters

A recent study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, has revealed that smoking just one cigarette for the first time in life can make more than two-thirds of people addicts.

"We've found that the conversion rate from 'first time smoker' to 'daily smoker' is surprisingly high, which helps confirm the importance of preventing cigarette experimentation in the first place," Peter Hajek, Professor at the Queen Mary University in London said.

In the survey involving over 215,000 people, more than 60 per cent of adults said that they had tried a cigarette once in their lifetime. Meanwhile, nearly 69 per cent of them admitted to having progressed to becoming daily smokers.

This latest finding provides strong support for prioritising efforts to reduce cigarette experimentation among adolescents.

After finding the high conversion rate, the researchers have suggested that at least some of the reduction in smoking prevalence observed over the past 20 years is likely due to reduced experimentation with cigarettes among adolescents.

In recent times, there were concerns expressed that e-cigarettes could be as addictive as conventional cigarettes. But, the study stated that this has not been the case.

"It is striking that very few non-smokers who try e-cigarettes become daily vapers, while such a large proportion on non-smokers who try conventional cigarettes become daily smokers. The presence of nicotine is clearly not the whole story," Hajek said.

(With inputs from IANS)